Today I want to raise awareness for a condition that affects women all over the world.
Endometriosis isn’t spoke about often as a lot of women don’t really know what it is or understand it. I want to help people understand the symptoms and share a real life story.
First of all what is endometriosis?
Endometriosis is a common condition where tissue that behaves like the lining of the womb (endometrium) is found in other parts of the body.
It can appear in many different places, including the ovaries, fallopian tubes, inside the tummy, and in or around the bladder or bowel.
Endometriosis mainly affects girls and women of childbearing age. It’s less common in women who’ve been through the menopause.
It’s a long-term condition that can have a significant impact on your life, but there are treatments that can help.
Information above taken from the NHS website.
The latest facts and figures about endometriosis.
- 1 in 10 women of reproductive age in the UK suffer from endometriosis.
- 10% of women worldwide have endometriosis – that’s 176 million worldwide.
- The prevalence of endometriosis in women with infertility be as high as to 30–50%.
- Endometriosis is the second most common gynaecological condition in the UK
- Endometriosis affects 1.5 million women, a similar number of women affected by diabetes.
- On average it takes 7.5 years from onset of symptoms to get a diagnosis.
- Endometriosis costs the UK economy £8.2bn a year in treatment, loss of work and healthcare costs.
- The cause of endometriosis is unknown and there is no definite cure.
Facts taken from this website.
I have interviewed Kayleigh (a personal friend of mine) who unfortunately suffers from this condition; and she helps me fully understand what endometriosis is, how to recognise the symptoms, and what it’s like living with this condition.
1. So what age was you diagnosed with endometriosis?
I was 24
2. How long were you suffering with symptoms before diagnosis?
Around 3 years
3. What symptoms did you experience?
Excruciating period pains, feeling weak, tired, heavy bleeding, pain during sex, really bad lower back and pain in my buttocks; also certain food would make my stomach feel worse i.e. anything not cooked fresh
Most importantly I could never pass stools when on my period which resulted in bad bloating (from one week to another I wouldn’t be able to fit in a pair of jeans)
Also I had blood from my rectum as my Endometriosis was in my bowel, not a nice feeling at all..
4. Was it easy being diagnosed, or did you have to go through a lot of tests that took time to find the right diagnosis?
It was so complicated. IBS was the conclusion but nothing changed.. After a lot of research I practically diagnosed myself and saw someone independent
5. Did you find it a relief being diagnosed?
Partly, as I knew endometriosis ticked all the boxes after my personal research
6. What is it like to live with and how does it affect your daily life?
It’s so unpredictable. Every day is different and you have to take each day as it comes
7. Do you have to have regular appointments and keep an eye on any changes?
Yes, every month
8. What’s the hardest thing to overcome when living with endometriosis?
The pain, and making future plans
9. Do you have to take medication for this condition?
When I first went to the hospital after having a private consultation I had a course of Zoladex which was injected into my stomach by my GP or Practice nurse for 3 months. This stops your periods and for the duration I had this injection I was like a different woman! It made such a difference and from then I was 99% sure I had Endometriosis. After my big operation I now have the Mirena Coil fitted which works wonders!
10. Have you reached a point in your life now where you have come to terms with the condition and accepted it?
I suppose I always knew that I had endometriosis before I officially got diagnosed. Now I take each day as it comes. YOLO is my motto!
11. What would you say to women who have been newly diagnosed with endometriosis?
Don’t give up! I know it can be so hard, but there are always people worse off in the world. That’s what made me pull through as well as being a strong woman
You will eventually work out a treatment plan for yourself along with a professional, which is always exciting to see light at the end of the tunnel!
I actually had a severe case and suffered really bad; I look back now and wonder how I dealt with it
God only gives us what we can handle and if not it’s a challenge ;-)))
A BIG thank you to Kayleigh who has very kindly allowed me to interview her on this subject! Endometriosis surprisingly doesn’t have as much awareness as it should, and hopefully anyone reading this, now has a better understanding of this condition and some of their questions will have been answered.
Kayleigh, thank you for taking part in this interview and as always I wish you the best!
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