The chances are that you or someone you know suffers from endometriosis, a debilitating condition that affects 1 in 10 women so c. 176 MILLION WOMEN WORLDWIDE!
Sadly it takes 7-10 years on average to get a diagnosis, with many women being dismissed or having their symptoms downplayed along the way.
What is it?
Basically, cells similar to the ones in the lining of the uterus are found elsewhere in the body. And unlike the cells in the uterus, there’s nowhere for the blood to escape as these cells go through their cycle of building up and breaking down. It can impact all females of childbearing age, regardless of race or ethnicity.
The physical impact is typically chronic and persistent pelvic pain and heavy periods and it commonly leads to fertility issues, bladder & bowel problems, fatigue and a sensitised nervous system. And the impact on quality of life, relationships, sex, etc. can be enormous and life long. Consequently, it’s not uncommon to see endometriosis accompanied by depression and anxiety.
What help is out there?
It can be really difficult sometimes to find the right help, so start with your GP, be persistent, and explore the following resources to make sure you get the right support for you:
- Women’s health physiotherapy can help enormously in terms of desensitising your nervous system, treating pelvic pain, mobilising scar tissue, helping you to breath better (trust me, it’s important) and to generally move and feel better. Services are available via your GP/the NHS and privately. Locally, I highly recommend the amazing Fiona Mitchell, featured in the video below.
- Local supports group like All Things Period here in the West Midlands.
- Being informed about your options and how best to both prepare and recover from surgery should you go down that route. Mr Morsi (in the video below) is a West Midlands based consultant that has extensive experience in dealing with complex endometriosis.
If you have anything else to add to this blog based on your own experiences, please do get in touch!