Menstruation is very common phenomenon in every female’s life. We all go through some pain and discomfort during those bloody days. But what if this every month’s activity becomes a hellish experience. Many of us can swear of this nightmare when pain becomes uncontrollable and nearing death experience. This pain may be because of endometriosis.
March is commemorated as endometriosis month. Endometriosis is a condition when your monthly periods become extremely painful and threatening for your health and can also hamper your fertility. As per statistics published in Endometriosis society, one in every eight women is suffering from this disease and close to 25 million women in India alone are victims of this silent killer condition.
What is endometriosis ?
Endometriosis is a condition which largely affects women between the age group of 25-50 but can also be detected as early as age 12. It is a condition when the uterine lining tissue, usually found inside starts to grow outside and spreads to the uterus, abdominal lining as well as the bladder. Thus, during your menstruation cycle, the tissue lining swells up and pains and the blood flow also thickens up. Women who suffer from the problem tend to undergo heavier periods than normal and also experience pain outside the normal threshold.
According to Dr. Sonia Naik, Head of Unit, Gynaecology and Obstetrics, Max Super Specialty Hospital, the blood accumulated inside the ovaries, causes cysts and this in turn affects the intensity of pain. This can also be experienced during ovulation, passing urine, stools or sexual intercourse. Endometriosis takes a heavy toll on a woman’s hormones, fertility as well as mental health as it can become extremely difficult to manage the pain. In most cases, women themselves brush off the pain thinking they have a low tolerance but doctors warn to never do so.
Diagnosing endometriosis can be very difficult and hence, it is very crucial that women know the signs and symptoms. If you are concerned, look out for these signs:
-Experiencing more frequent and intense pain during periods as compared to before.
-If you begin to face digestive issues during and before your cycle.
-Chronic inflammation and swelling near the abdomen and pelvis
-Facing pain during intercourse
One of the biggest reasons why endometriosis becomes a cause of concern is because it can trigger infertility and ovarian cancer in some patients. The severity of the condition and its treatment depends on the stage at which you are detected.
There is no treatment for endometriosis itself, hence doctors only treat symptoms through medication. Ultrasounds and vaginal checks are usually ordered after which, hormone therapy is advised which can help manage symptoms better. While endometriosis cannot be completely cured, doctors can offer you medication and lifestyle suggestions to battle the intensity of your pain. If endometriosis reaches more potentially risky stages and hampers functioning of your other organs, surgery is advised but according to our doctor, this should always be the last option to consider.
The stigma around endometriosis is so far spread; the symptoms are simply brushed off as period pain symptoms. In the recent years, a lot many celebs including the likes of Katrina Kaif, Padma Lakshmi and Lena Dunham have opened up about their struggle with the condition just to break away the taboo and raise awareness about the same.