As we are still in Endometriosis Awareness Month, I thought I would pass on a little experience regarding how this condition or disease might affect you, If you suspect or have been told that you have Endometriosis, here are some of the warning signs I’ve noticed and been made aware of, I thought I should share them with you in case no-one else has.
Firstly, Endometriosis affects 1 in 10 women, so you are never alone.
That if you have very heavy and painful periods with abdominal pain during the rest of the month you may have this condition.
It is not currently a recognised disability.
It is an invisible illness, a lot of the time people will accuse you of faking.
People will not understand, unless they have ever been affected by it either themselves or with a loved one.
It can affect your fertility. But, some are lucky to be able to bear children.
It can be a hereditary condition, but it can also skip generations.
You will often feel as though your medical team are not listening, some are just blissfully unaware.
Your diet will often be affected by this condition try eliminating foods and re-introduction to see what suits you and what does not.
You may develop IBS, this could be down to diet, medications or even just a progression of the disease.
Your weight and/or size may fluctuate. Be prepared to wear larger, more comfortable clothes at times when you need to.
Sometimes you will bloat with wind and it is excruciating. – Peppermint is your friend!
Having a child will not cure it, neither will a full or partial Hysterectomy. There is actually no cure.
You will be prepared to try almost anything to help your symptoms.
Until you are diagnosed, you may at times suspect your sanity.
It can take 7 years to diagnose Endometriosis, but sometimes even longer, it took 15 for me.
You will need people around you to help you, when your illness is bad. Accept their help.
Educate your friends, family and employer to this condition. Although it might affect your life to different degrees if they are aware, then you have a chance that they could be more understanding.
If your GP or Gynaecologist refuses to assist with diagnosis, then get that second, or third opinion. Referral to a specialist for this condition is key. General Gynaecologists often do not know about Endometriosis.
It affects people in different ways, but it is a debilitating condition, so if you have to take to your bed, just do it. Make yourself warm and comfortable.
Your symptoms are aggravated by stress. Try to find a quiet place to be calm and rest. – I know, this is often far easier said than done.
Although it is often related to your menstruation. Adhesions can attach themselves to other organs, this can cause you pain and other health issues.
After a Hysterectomy there may be no sign of the disease and you could be pain free. But your pain may also return and you may suffer previous symptoms again.
Endometriosis can also attach itself to the bladder or bowel.
You will know your body and it’s patterns, If any of your symptoms change or worsen, don’t be afraid to call your Doctor.
Try and raise awareness of this condition, there are many women out there who have no idea that what they are going through, is not a normal sign of growing up and are just trying to cope.
There are many support groups, Join one! They are filled with people just like you who are fighting the same battle as well as their own. You will gain, advice, make friends, gather information about the disease and how to fight it.