Endometriosis occurs when tissue, similar to the lining of the uterus, is found in other areas of the body – mainly in the abdominal cavity, but it can also be found in the lung, and (rarely) in other areas of the body. This tissue responds to a woman’s hormonal cycle. However, unlike blood in connection with the period, this blood remains within the body, where it bleeds and forms lesions, blood-filled cysts, and adhesions.
The symptoms of endometriosis include:
• Pain at menstruation, ovulation, intercourse, bowel movements, urination
• Fatigue, bloating, nausea, heavy bleeding
• Possibility a susceptible to develop other diseases, including certain cancers
• Birth control pills
• Hormonal suppression
• Surgical removal and, for some, hysterectomy.
For most women, side effects are associated with all of these treatments, and none of them cure the disease.
Why do we never hear of endometriosis?
Even in the most “liberal” of countries, female health issues, in particular those associated with menstruation, painful intercourse and infertility, are topics that are not readily discussed in society. They are still taboo in the 21st century. Yet, all of these are associated with endometriosis, and women who are affected have to deal with these challenges on a daily basis. Unfortunately many mistakenly believe that “pain is part of being a woman” – even though pain is the body’s way of saying: something is not right.
This lack of awareness leads to an average diagnostic delay of up to eleven years in some health care settings. Endometriosis may be progressive, and recent research has indicated that a delayed diagnosis can be associated with more severe disease.