Many people, maybe most, have never heard of endometriosis. Until a week ago I had heard the word, but I had no idea what it was or its accompanying symptoms. Endometriosis is seen primarily as a women’s health issue where the inner lining of the uterus flows back up inside the body around the ovaries and bowel where it implants and starts to grow. So in other words, um…ouch!
But rest easy ladies, there have actually been cases where men have experienced endometrial symptoms as well. So there are some of us that can feel your pain. Err…sort of. Moving on… before I get cyber-slapped for such blasphemous comments.
Quite frankly, some of the medical jargon is bit hard to understand at times and can fail to communicate what it is like for a woman to have this disease and how it truly affects her life, family, career, sex life and her ability to live life in very basic ways.
What does it feel like?
The reality is that this disease can be like having tens or hundreds of agonizingly painful blisters covering the inside of the pelvis. Infertility and pelvic pain are the two most common symptoms that accompany endometriosis. Women with endometriosis can experience horrific pain lasting anywhere from a few days during their period to persistent pain everyday.
When can it start?
Endometriosis typically develops during the early teen years and can continue to grow if the disease is left untreated. The pain associated with endometriosis can sometimes be mistaken as extreme menstrual cramping. The symptoms typically progress as the woman matures from an adolescent into an adult woman. Both the severity and length of the pain usually increase.
What affect can it have on everyday life?
Several characteristics that make a woman who she is can change due to the disease. Her body will experience bloating. Her emotions are drastically affected and her bladder and bowels won’t function properly. Her sex life is also affected as many women cannot be intimate with their partners for a variety of reasons including fatigue.
My explanation of endometriosis doesn’t accurately describe the reality of the disease. While endometriosis can be frustrating, there are definitely treatment options available.
Our very own, Dr. Amber Bradshaw, Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgeon, can help. She is a fellowship trained physician who treats women suffering from endometriosis. Below is a video where she describes the disease and offers several different treatment options available.
We would like to hear your thoughts, stories and experiences. Post a comment and tell us what you think.