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Endometriosis Explained: What Is Endometriosis?

Endometriosis symptoms include painful menstruation and often irregular bleeding. Learn more with us right here!

So what should you know about endometriosis?

Endometriosis sounds like something out of a Sci-Fi movie, except it’s not. Instead, it’s a disorder where tissue that is similar to the kind that lines your uterus grows outside of your uterus. And yes, to answer your question, it can mimic the same thickening and shedding patterns as the normal endometrial lining (your period). In fact, this unwanted tissue can affect your fallopian tubes, intestines, and ovaries, and while nobody can tell us what really causes endometriosis, people who have it experience great disruption in their lives, thanks to a host of annoying and painful symptoms. 

Sex can be painful

People with endometriosis often complain of pain during sexual intercourse. Unfortunately, endo symptoms aren’t limited to pain during sex: you can also bloat (like, six-months-pregnant bloat), suffer from nausea and constipation, experience dysmenorrheal (severe period pain), as well as menorrhagia (heavy menstruation)

Diagnosing endometriosis can be a challenge 

While your gynaecologist might suspect you have endo, thanks to your symptoms correlating with those of the disease, it can be difficult to get a diagnosis. Why? It’s best to have a laparoscopy done, since this is the only medical procedure that can definitively confirm whether or not you do have endometriosis. Since it isn’t always a financially viable option, it can mean that people often live with this, undiagnosed.

You can experience irregular bleeding and heavy periods

It can be easy to dismiss irregular periods, period pain and heavy menstruation. After all, people with uteruses can sometimes experience a lifetime of being gaslit by medical professionals. However, this makes it more urgent than ever to be aware of your body’s normal menstrual cycle, and what that ‘normal’ looks like for you. Keep a period diary if you can, and take note of when symptoms such as headaches, severe period pain, and bleeding are at their worst. Pain is not uncommon — but it’s not normal, either, and while endometriosis isn’t curable, it is a treatable condition, and you needn’t be living in permanent discomfort.  

It can spread to other parts of your body

Endometriosis is not limited to your reproductive organs. In fact, the tissue can form around other organs inside your abdominal cavity, such as your intestines and stomach. This is why pain caused by endometriosis can occur everywhere from your pelvis and rectum, to your lower back and vagina. 

You can fall pregnant with endometriosis

But it might be a little more complicated. Depending on the severity of your symptoms, endometriosis can sometimes affect your chances of conceiving, since it can form scar tissue around your reproductive organs. If children are part of your life plan, it’s worth chatting to your doctor or specialist about your fertility, and what steps you might need to take to ensure that you are able to conceive during your fertile period (and carry to term). On the other hand, pregnancy can also ease endo symptoms. Because your body doesn’t ovulate during pregnancy (since an ovum has already been fertilised, causing your little bean to be sprung), the usual pain that is associated with different phases of your menstrual cycle can cease for the nine months of the gestation period.

You will need a support system

It can be difficult to speak to your loved ones when you’re living with chronic or debilitating pain, but making the people around you aware of what you’re going through is an important step in building your support system. If you find going to the doctor upsetting or nerve wracking, or tend to forget to ask all the questions that you needed to, consider taking along a buddy to your doctor’s appointments. They can be there for moral support, prompt you to list the symptoms of endometriosis that you may have experienced, and write down any information that you may be unable to digest in the moment.

If you experience signs of endometriosis and suspect that you might have it, don’t hesitate to contact your doctor or nearest healthcare professional. In the meantime, Lil-Lets pads and pantyliners can help with bleeding and spotting.

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