This March, EZ Hampers is supporting Endometriosis Awareness Month. According to Endometriosis UK, the campaign aims ‘to raise awareness, demand change, and show your support’ for those with the condition. It’s estimated that 1 in 10 people with uteruses have endometriosis. However, the condition often goes undiagnosed or misdiagnosed. Research highlights that the average person with endometriosis visits up to 7 GPs to get their correct diagnosis. Those with endometriosis can often experience having their symptoms minimised and told they’re normal, or face a lack of understanding for their condition due to the lack of education on endometriosis.
What is endometriosis?
Endometriosis is a gynaecological condition that causes tissue to grow outside of the uterus. This often causes symptoms such as pelvic pain, painful periods that impede your regular day-to-day activities, pain during sex and difficulties getting pregnant. Endometriosis can also impact a person’s mental health, with the condition increasing a person’s likelihood of having depression and anxiety.
There are many theories on why endometriosis occurs, though the general consensus that it is likely caused by a combination of genetic, hormonal and immune system factors. The condition is most commonly diagnosed via a laparoscopy which will reveal the endometrial tissue. Sadly, there is no cure for endometriosis, but there are ways to ease the symptoms of the condition. Such as: painkillers, contraceptives, surgery to remove endometrial tissue or surgery to remove the reproductive organs associated with endometriosis.
“Ever since I got my first period at 8 years old, I had very painful, irregular periods. For years, I had to take painkillers constantly to try and help with the pain that I’d experience every month. Due to the amount of blood loss I experienced too, I often became anaemic. When I started working, I often had to take time out during my periods and I believe that my workplaces often didn’t have any clue what I was going through. I feel like both periods and endometriosis just aren’t talked about enough, which in turn leads to ignorance.
“Often people think endometriosis is also just about painful periods, when the symptoms can be so much more severe. For instance, another symptom can be pain during sex. When I was younger, we weren’t as open about discussing sex and our periods, because people saw the topics as taboo or too embarrassing to discuss- even with the GP! I was only diagnosed with endometriosis after I’d had a laparoscopy when I was 27, and the doctors had found that my organs had been extremely damaged by the endometriosis, due to excess tissue growth. Eventually, I had a hysterectomy at 34, and was finally able to live my life without the difficulties that endometriosis had brought me for so many years.”
There is growing support for those who have endometriosis, through education, campaigns for better care, support groups and support schemes in the workplace. To find out more, visit Endometriosis UK’s website at https://www.endometriosis-uk.org/.