Understanding Endometriosis: What You Need to Know
With 1 in 9 people with periods affected by endometriosis, chances are you know someone who has it. But do you understand it?
Endometriosis is a condition that affects 1 in 9 people with periods. Endometriosis occurs when tissue, which is similar to the lining of the womb, grows in other parts of the body. This tissue has an inflammatory response and causes problems such as pain and scarring.
Endometrial lesions are most commonly found in and around the pelvic area including the ovaries, fallopian tubes, uterus, bowel, bladder and on the lining of the pelvic cavity. Less commonly, endometriosis has been found in other unusual parts in the body including the lungs, skin, diaphragm, liver and even the brain.
Some endo warriors have no symptoms at all, while others present with debilitating symptoms, curiously the extent of disease does not correlate to the severity of symptoms.
Sadly, there is no known cause or prevention for endometriosis. We do know there is a genetic element to endometriosis so you are 7-8 times more likely to get endometriosis if a family member has a history of endometriosis. The latest research shows that the average time to diagnosis has reduced from 7 - 12 years to an average of 6.5 years since 2013.
Endometriosis is often misdiagnosed as another condition such as IBS or that you have a low pain tolerance and it is just all in your head.
As a result, many people with Endo suffer in silence.
If you feel you have been misdiagnosed or not taken seriously it is important to get a second opinion and seek a review from an endometriosis excision specialist.
Education is power and can lead to early detection.
A combination of your symptoms and diagnostic findings can indicate the likelihood of endometriosis. The tests that are used to investigate include:
Laparoscopy - the gold standard however an invasive procedure
Allied & Complementary medicine
If you are experiencing painful periods and other adverse symptoms each month please reach out to your health practitioner for support. With the right supportive treatments and qualified team of practitioners endometriosis can be managed very well.
For more information and resources, visit Endometriosis Australia
All information in this article has been reviewed by Endometriosis Australia