What is endometriosis?
Endometriosis is a chronic, inflammatory disorder that occurs in women when tissue, similar to the lining of the womb, starts to grow in other places like the ovaries and fallopian tubes.
This tissue acts like endometrial tissue and thickens, breaks down and bleeds with each menstrual cycle. But, unlike a normal period, this tissue has no way to exit the body, which can lead to cysts and scar tissue forming in the pelvic area.
How many women does it affect and what are the symptoms?
It is estimated that approximately 10 per cent of women between 14 and 45 have endometriosis and it goes largely undiagnosed in younger years.
Symptoms of endometriosis include heavy and painful periods and it can make it difficult to get pregnant and this is why more women are diagnosed in the 30’s, when they are trying to figure out what might be causing issues with infertility.
Over time, women with endometriosis can also suffer with chronic lower back and pelvic pain, pain during and after sex, an overactive bladder, intestinal pain and painful bowel movements.
What can I do about it?
Research shows that endometriosis can be genetic and that it is more common in women with a lower BMO and those who started their periods at a young age.
There is no way to completely prevent it or get rid of it, but there is a lot you can do to make it more manageable and much easier to live with.
Medical treatments for endometriosis can be effective and include surgery, the contraceptive pill and painkillers, however, there are also some holistic ways that might help you to manage your symptoms each month.