(Trigger Warning: Infertility)
(Disclaimer: I am not an expert on this matter and all information were gathered from NZ Endo, Ministry of Health website and personal experience. The purpose of this blog post is to spread awareness on endometriosis.)
What is it and how does it affect the women inflicted with it?
Endometriosis is a disorder in which a tissue that normally lives inside the walls of the uterus decides to grow outside it. Anywhere outside it-- the ovaries, fallopian tubes, intestines and in some random places like scar tissue, belly button or the lungs! I know, scary stuff!
Have you heard of this disease before? It is more common than some people think. It is estimated to affect 1 in 10 girls/women in New Zealand, so in your next party, there could be someone suffering from this.
The most common symptoms are periodic pain, pelvic pain and difficulty conceiving, but sometimes they could be hiding and become incidental findings from other medical/surgical procedures. If you or someone you know has endometriosis, you will know that the pain they suffer from this is unbelievable and the worst part is, there is not enough information and resources about it. Some people will brush it off as just dysmenorrhoea, just pop some pills and carry on, but to some endo warriors, it could be physically and mentally debilitating and can keep them from living a normal life, working a regular job or having a baby!
A doctor may examine you and order blood tests, scans and other investigations, but a definite endometriosis diagnosis can only be made by viewing the pelvic cavity at a key-hole surgery or laparoscopy done by a special endo doctor. They also remove the endometriosis during this procedure and send it to the lab for confirmation. Hitting two birds with one stone, but wouldn't it be nice if it didn't involve poking holes in your tummy?
To find out more about endometriosis, click here.
To read about stories and personal experiences of some endo warriors or to submit your own story, click here.
If you or someone you know has endometriosis and in need of support, click here.
Please know that YOU ARE NOT ALONE.