This March it’s Endometriosis Awareness Month; so, grab your sister, mother, aunt, niece, friends – it’s time to learn all about this condition that affects 1 in 10 women.
The spotlight on Endometriosis has been gradually increasing, with multiple celebrities speaking out about their experiences with the condition; including Julianne Hough, Whoopi Goldberg, and Lena Dunham.
What is Endometriosis
Endometriosis is most common in women who are in their 30s and 40s, but it can affect women of any age. Often, it is a long-term condition that can have a severe impact on your health.
Endometriosis is a condition where the cells that normally line the womb grow outside of the womb, on other pelvic organs such as the ovaries and fallopian tubes. Because they are the same types of cells as those inside your womb, they grow every month and bleed during your period.
Because these cells are on the ovaries, fallopian tubes and elsewhere, the blood has nowhere to go, so this causes pain, scarring and swelling on the pelvic organs which can cause a lot of pelvic pain, back pain and fertility problems.
Symptoms of Endometriosis
Endometriosis symptoms vary from woman to woman, and they depend on how severe the endometriosis is.
Some are badly affected, while others may not even suffer from symptoms.
The main endometriosis symptoms include:
Pelvic pain; pain in the lower abdomen (tummy) or in the lower back(that is normally worse during your period)
Period pain that prevents you from performing normal activities
Pain during intercourse (dyspareunia) or after sexual intercourse
Pain when urinating or passing bowel movements whilst you are on your period
Experiencing nausea, constipation, diarrhoea, or blood in your urine during your period
Fertility problems - difficulty getting pregnant
Heavy or painful periods (menorrhagia)
Feelings of depression
If you suffer from any of these symptoms and think that you may be suffering from endometriosis, it’s important to see your GP who will be able to run some tests, such as a hysteroscopy (where they look inside your womb with a little camera) to see if endometriosis is present.
What Causes Endometriosis?
The main cause behind endometriosis is unknown. However, there have been a few theories suggested:
Genetics – Endometriosis tends to run in families, and can affect certain ethnic groups more than others
Retrograde menstruation – When parts of the womb lining flows up through the fallopian tubes and embeds itself on the pelvic organs, instead of leaving the body as a period
Immune system issues – Problems within the immune system
Spreading of endometrium cells – Endometrium cells spreading through the body in either the bloodstream or lymphatic system
What is the Relationship Between Endometriosis and the Pelvic Floor?
Women who suffer from endometriosis may also have issues with their pelvic floor muscles, developing a pelvic floor dysfunction as a result.
Women may experience hypersensitive fibres within their pelvic floor muscles and/or tissues - this can lead to more pain.
How Can Kegel8 Pelvic Toners Help With Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome?
If you suffer from chronic endometriosis pain or pelvic pain, you can help your muscles to relax and target pelvic pain with the pain programme on the Kegel8 Ultra 20 – this helps to relax your muscles.
Kegel8 fights pain and helps to relax a tense, in-pain pelvic floor, and automatically performs pelvic exercises to improve strength and control.
How to Treat Endometriosis
Currently, there is no cure for endometriosis, but there are some treatments that can help to ease the associated symptoms. Endometriosis treatment depends on how bad the endometriosis is and whether or not you hope to have children in the future.
In mild cases, the doctor may recommend:
Painkillers like Ibuprofen and Paracetamol, which may be taken to help relieve pain
Hormone medicines and contraceptives – You may be prescribed the pill, the contraceptive patch, an IUS, or certain medicines to help manage your hormone balance
In more severe cases of endometriosis, the doctor may recommend surgery:
Hysteroscopy: is a procedure used to examine the inside of the womb (uterus). It is carried out using a hysteroscope, which is a narrow telescope with a light and camera at the end. This procedure allows your doctor to diagnose and treat causes of abnormal bleeding.
Laporoscopy: this is a keyhole surgery technique - doctors will use a tiny camera to look inside the womb, and will use delicate instruments to destroy patches of endometriosis. This is successful in cases of mild endometriosis and has good success rates.
Hysterectomy: in more serious cases of endometriosis, hysterectomy - an operation to remove part or all of the organs affected by endometriosis - is sometimes the only option, but it’s only used when other endometriosis treatment options have been exhausted.
Original articles: Kegel8 Website