The Sunday News
HELLO readers. I hope you all had a great week. In the previous articles I have been unpacking menstrual conditions and what they are.
This is my third year of doing this menstrual health series, and those of you who know and follow me know the main thing we talk about is Endometriosis. Endo-what? Endometriosis. What is endometriosis? It is a menstrual/ gynaecological condition that affects one in 10 women, almost 200 million women worldwide. This topic is really important to me because I have endometriosis and adenomyosis.
Endometriosis is a condition where tissue similar to the lining of the uterus grows outside of the uterus like the ovaries, bladder, appendix and more. Adenomyosis is endometriosis of the womb.
It happens when the endometrial tissues encroaches into the uterus muscle. When I was a teenager my menstrual periods suddenly changed from a little discomfort to being extremely painful and extremely heavy. On top of the heavy menses, I also started to have an on and off side pain that I could not explain.
I would rush to the ER with extreme pain and have an ultrasound. The ultrasounds would say everything looked normal, but I was still in pain each month, skipping school, and basically began to deteriorate. The ER and doctor’s visits continued and the pain did as well. “The pain is all in your head” and “pain is normal” is all I heard. Going on my period turned into something I really dreaded because of how sick I would be.
After the period I would still feel pain. Years later I found out I had endometriosis. I even had to travel to another country for that diagnosis. It was the reason for everything I had been through. It can take an average of 7 to 10 years to get diagnosed. So many women have pain for years and suffer in silence because doctors simply don’t look further into their issues and because the people around them don’t believe that the pain they are in is that bad. Pain is not normal. Pain that stops your normal activity like going to school or work, or pain that is crippling, is not normal. It can be the result of something more than just period pain, it could be endometriosis.
Symptoms: Pain: Painful periods, pain during ovulation, pain during internal examination, painful sex, pelvic pain, chest pain, back pain, shoulder pain and joint pain Pain in uterus and vagina: Irregular periods, prolonged bleeding, heavy periods, spotting, infertility issues, old brown blood/ clots, brown blood before period, frequent yeast infections and extreme bloating and inflammation of the abdomen. Pain in bowel and bladder: Painful bowel movement, bleeding from bowel, pain with urination, pain aft er bowel movement, frequentutis and food sensitivity.
Others: Chronic fatigue, insomnia, loss of weight/ weight gain, nausea, dizzy spells, depression, tingling in hands of feet, hot flushes, allergies, autoimmune diseases. If you experience any of these symptoms during your menstrual period, or even any time during the month, it is advisable for you to see a gynaecological specialist to do further investigation. You are not crazy. Next week we will discuss diagnosis and treatment options. Until then, spread love and kindness. You can contact me on +263778026402 for more information. I am here for you.