Endometriosis is a condition that affects 1 in 10 women of child bearing age. It is characterized by many symptoms some of which may include but are not limited to painful periods, lower abdominal and pelvic pains with or without the menstrual bleeding, among others.

Endometriosis is caused by the growth of painful implants of the endometrial tissues around the uterus and other areas in the body. It is believed that these tissues follow the same menstrual cycle as the ones in the uterine wall. When bleeding occurs from the lining as periods, the implants also bleed within the body causing inflammation and pain.

Endo picture

Although many women experience cramping during their menstrual period, women who suffer from endometriosis describe menstrual pain that’s far more excruciating than usual. Unlike in dysmenorrhea, women with endometriosis report increased levels of pain over time.

Common signs and symptoms of endometriosis may include:
• Painful periods (dysmenorrhea). Pelvic pain and cramping may begin before and extend several days into your period and may include lower back and abdominal pain.
• Pain with intercourse. Pain during or after sex is common with endometriosis.
• Pain with bowel movements or urination. You’re most likely to experience these symptoms during your period.
• Excessive bleeding. You may experience occasional heavy periods (menorrhagia) or bleeding between periods (menometrorrhagia).
• Infertility. Endometriosis is first diagnosed in some women who are seeking treatment for infertility.
• Other symptoms. You may also experience fatigue, diarrhea, constipation, bloating or nausea, especially during menstrual periods.

Endometriosis is easily misdiagnosed as pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) or confused with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Another challenge to endometriosis diagnosis is that it can only be confirmed by laparoscopic surgery which is expensive and requires a very experienced doctor to carry out.

The intensity and severity of your pain might not be a reliable indicator of the extent of the condition. Some women with mild endometriosis have extensive pain, whereas some with very advanced endometriosis may have little pain or even no pain at all and my only discover it after unsuccessful conception.

endometriosis_definition

For more information on endometriosis please check www.healthline.com/endometriosis or any other reliable medical site.

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Always looking forward to hearing from you.

Nkatha Ogutu

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