What Is Endometriosis?

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Did you know endometriosis was one of the most googled words in 2018? So what exactly is it? 

Endometriosis (pronounced end-oh-me-tree-oh-sis) is a painful illness that affects 1 in 10 girls and women all around the world. It can take years before a proper diagnosis is even received. Research believes that around 176 million individuals suffer from having endometriosis. However, I feel newer research will show even more than that. 

Endometriosis occurs when tissue, like the tissue that lines the uterus, is found outside the uterus. Usually it can be found in the abdomen, ovaries, fallopian tubes, vagina and rectum, bowel, bladder and cervix. They can also be found on the lungs, heart, brain and other locations. All though, these locations are less common.

Endometriosis can cause internal bleeding, scars and cysts. Severe abdominal flare ups at any time are also seen. The effectiveness of your immune system decreases and can cause chronic fatigue. It hurts and it's exhausting! The lining of the uterus that is shed every month is unable to shed, so it is reabsorbed by the body. It then sticks to other organs and grows wrapping around other organs.  

​Endometriosis is described as a chronic illness because it lasts a long time, sometimes for the rest of that individuals life. Currently, there is no actual cure for endometriosis, just treatments that can mask the pain for some. Some women do find these treatments to be helpful, while others not so much. 

What Are the Symptoms?

Symptoms differ across every women. Some may experience many symptoms while others may not. Some may have severe symptoms, some may not.

The most common symptoms are:

  • nausea

  • extreme fatigue 

  • painful sex 

  • painful bowel movements which include diarrhea or constipation 

  • pain before, during, and after period

  • pain in pelvis, hips, lower abdomen or lower back

  • changes in period which include heavy flows, longer flows, spotting, bleeding before period is due 

  • menstrual cramp pain 

  • bloating 

  • pain urinating 

  • pain in your legs

  • inflammation

 

Some women may also experience infertility, miscarriages and trouble becoming pregnant. This is not the case for every women and sometimes infertility can be caused by something other than endometriosis. Women may also find that they suffer with cysts and fibroids, which can become very large and painful. Others may find other illnesses and diseases along with their endo; like fibromyalgia & PCOS to name a few. 

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