What is endometriosis?

You’ve probably heard people talk about this condition, but what is it really and what are some of its symptoms? Here’s everything you need to know about endometriosis.

What is it?

Endometriosis (pronounced e-ndo-mee-tree-o-sis) is a condition where a woman’s uterine tissue (tissue from the womb) grows outside of the uterus (womb). It can be found in the ovaries, fallopian tubes and in some instances, in the cervix (lower portion of the womb), the bowels and even the bladder.

What are the symptoms?

Most women who suffer from endometriosis experience symptoms like extremely painful period cramps, pain in their pelvic area and lower abdomen (the area below your stomach), pain during or after sex, as well as bleeding between periods. Some women even have digestive issues including diarrhoea, bloating and constant nausea, which can get worse during their period. Depending on how bad it is, endometriosis can also cause infertility (inability to fall pregnant) in some cases.

How is it diagnosed?

If you’ve been experiencing the symptoms I mentioned above, then you might need to get checked out for endometriosis. You can go to your nearest clinic, explain your symptoms to a healthcare professional and ask to be referred to a gynaecologist for further examination.

The only way to really diagnose endometriosis is through a laparoscopy (type of surgery that allows doctors to look at the organs inside your pelvic area), which is why it can only be done by a specialist. This doesn’t have to cost you a lot of money though, Choma, because specialists are available at government hospitals.

Can endometriosis be treated?

Endometriosis can be treated with hormone therapy (a type of treatment where birth control is given to regulate hormones) and surgery to remove or destroy the unwanted growths of tissue. Your doctor will determine the best course of treatment for you based on how bad your symptoms are. For more info on treatment for this condition, read this.

Endometriosis is a painful condition, but luckily, it can be treated. If you or someone you know is struggling with the symptoms I mentioned, make sure you visit a healthcare professional and request to be referred to a specialist so you can get help.

Remember if you or a friend need advice or help, you can contact me here on Ask Choma, send me a Facebook Messagea Twitter DM, or a WhatsApp Message (071 172 3657).