Endo- an overview

Hi everyone. Thanks for all your comments and please keep them coming. Tell us your coping mechanisms and how they help you to live a normal life.

 

A quick overview of endometriosis-

According to the NHS choices website, endometriosis is a condition in which small pieces of endometrium( womb lining) are found outside the womb; this could be in the fallopian tubes, ovaries, bladder, bowel, vagina or rectum. It is a long term chronic condition that causes painful or heavy periods. It oftens causes pain in the lower abdomen, pelvis or lower back. It may also lead to to lack of energy, depression and fertility problems. The causes are not fully known but there are several theories. The most common theory is that the womb lining does not leave the body properly during a period and embeds itself onto the organs of the pelvis. Doctors refer to this as retrograde menstration. Normally before a period, the hormone oestrogen causes the endometrium to thicken to receive a fertilised egg. If the egg isn’t fertilised, the lining breaks down and leaves the body as menstrual body i.e period. Endometriosis cells anywhere on the body behave the same way as if they are in the womb so every month, they grow during the menstrual cycle and bleed but they DO NOT LEAVE the body hence this leads to pain, swelling, damage to ovaries and fallopian tubes causing  fertility problems.

There is no known cure for endometriosis but it can be managed with surgery, healthy diet and hormone treatments.Pregnancy sometimes reduces the symptoms but the condition might return once the menstrual cycle returns to normal. In the UK, around 2 million women are affected and most of them were diagnosed between the ages of 25-40. . In Africa esp Nigeria, very little is known about this disease and hence, not a lot of awareness and a lot of women are suffering in silence. According to a clinical gynaecologist and fertility expert, Dr Ajayi of Nordica Fertility Centre Lagos, diagnosis is made worse in Nigeria because it is believed to be uncommon amongst black people and some women have no symptoms.  A former Miss Nigeria and model, Nike Oshinowo only recently told of her experience with the disease which she has been battling since the age of 13.

I got my first period at 14 and it was highly irregular. However, the doctors told me back home then in Nigeria that it will regulate itself in time. I was placed on the pill at 20 and l had a regular period for many years so l assumed everything was fine since l didn’t have any pain. My gynaecologist here said it’s possible the condition started then and could have been treated better if diagnosed early. This chronic disease needs more awareness and support to help the younger generation of women so they wouldn’t have to go through the horror that some of us are now facing because dealing with chronic pain and infertility is one of the worst things a woman of child bearing age can ever go through.

Thanks for reading.

 

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4 Responses to Endo- an overview

  1. Natty says:

    This is so touching, I have always had extremely painful cramps, I would take pain killers 3 days in advance else the pain would be so unbearable, My temperature would drop below normal range, I would be unable to walk because of the pain, In most cases I would vomit; the upside of vomiting was that the pain would disappear almost immediately. While all these are happening my feet would be extremely cold, and I would be sweating profusely. On days when my period starts early, It would be hell and I would have to be admitted in the hospital.
    In Ghana and Nigeria, the nurses were all the same, turning up their noses and mocking me saying ” is it not ordinary menstrual pain that all women have, that you are shouting like this”.
    When I moved to the UK, I had another bad episode and I had to be rushed to the hospital in an ambulance. That’s when the GP recommended I undergo a series of tests to be sure I didn’t have endometriosis. When she told me It could lead to infertility, I was heart broken, because I really can’t wait to have my own little ones.
    I did the tests and luckily I don’t have it. I was so relieved. The GP prescribed Mefeanimic(sic) acid, and I swear its been a life changer, the pains have reduced significantly, no more depression during my periods, I recently saw my period and drank a large cup of tango orange on the first day, that’s something I would have never done before!

    • I really thank God for your life, sis. Can imagine how relieved you were when you heard you didn’t have the disease. Great to know your periods are now normal. Hope you’ll hear the pitter patter of tiny feet soon. Stay blessed!

  2. Femi says:

    When I started dating my wife about 16 years back, she used to have serious menstrual pains that saw her being admitted most of the time. We were never really informed of the root cause. We got married 14 years ago, when she was 23 years old, and had a child at 24 and another child at 29. Over the years she used to have pains but not like she had in her early years. When we relocated to the US, the serious pains returned and when she saw the doctor, she was sent for various tests,MRI etc. They wanted to make sure it was not ovarian cancer. Eventually, she was diagnosed as having endometriosis and was referred to a specialist. She was asked if she wanted an hysterectomy and we told the specialist that we wanted more kids so she She has a minimally invasive surgery at a point, was put on hormone pills and the pains subsided. We have been trying for a 3rd child since but no luck. We have even been through 3 IV cycles but always turn out to be disappointed at the last minute.The specialist recommended using a donor egg but we turned that down since we already had a boy and a girl. Right now, we are just praying for a miracle.

    • Please do not give up hope, Femi. God’s still on the throne. He has done it twice and given you and your wife two beautiful children and l know He WILL surely do it again. Be strong and stay blessed

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