March is Endometriosis Awareness Month. Let's talk about It! Endometriosis is a common condition that affects 1 in 10 women of reproductive age and is most common in those in their 30’s and 40’s. It's when tissues lining of the uterus grows outside of the uterus, causing pain, inflammation, and even infertility.
What's the Deal with Endometriosis & How Does it Affect Your Body?
Endometriosis is a big deal because it affects so many people and can be hard to diagnose, sometimes taking up to 10 years to get a proper diagnosis. Living with endometriosis can be tough. You may feel like you're struggling both physically and emotionally. It can cause pain, inflammation, and scarring in the pelvic area, as well as digestive and urinary problems. But don't worry, there are different treatment options available to help manage symptoms.
Living with Endometriosis:
Endometriosis can be a tricky problem to deal with, both physically and emotionally. But with the right help, you can manage the pain and the emotional toll it can cause. There are several treatment options available, depending on the severity of your symptoms and your goals. Some common treatments include:
Pain relief medications:
over-the-counter pain killers especially anti-inflammatory (e.g. Asprin, Ibuprofen, Ponstan, Naprogesic etc) can help manage pain and inflammation. Anti-spasmodic medications can also help with some of the gut symptoms that worsen the pain (e.g. Buscopan).
like progesterone tablets, intrauterine devices (IUDs), or even gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonists can help reduce the growth of endometrial tissue and relieve symptoms.
in more severe cases, surgery may be necessary to remove endometrial tissue or scar tissue. This is usually done through keyhole approach (Laparoscopy).
regular gynaecological care can help with early detection of reoccurrence and early intervention.
regular exercise, like yoga or low-impact activities, can help reduce inflammation, pain and stress. Often the help of a Physiotherapist or Exercise Physiologist is an integral part of the management plan.
some studies suggest that certain dietary changes, like increasing omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants, may help reduce inflammation and improve symptoms. It’s important to avoid foods that increase inflammation, such as processed and fried foods, and to include foods that have anti-inflammatory properties, such as leafy greens, fatty fish, and berries.
endometriosis can also take a toll on emotional health. It is important to seek emotional support from friends, family, and support groups. Talking to a therapist or counsellor can also help manage stress and anxiety related to endometriosis. A psychologist who specialises in pain management is often a vital member in the multi-disciplinary team looking after women with Endometriosis.
Endometriosis & Fertility: What You Need to Know
Endometriosis can make it harder to get pregnant, as it can mess with the way the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and uterus work together. This makes it hard for the sperm to meet up with the egg or for the egg to stick to your uterus. But, there are ways to improve your chances, like using medication or in vitro fertilization (IVF), as well as surgery.
Endometriosis Myths and Misconceptions
There are a lot of myths and misconceptions surrounding endometriosis, like the idea that it's just bad period cramps. It's important to know that endometriosis is a real condition that can cause significant pain and even infertility. Education and awareness can help break down the stigma and encourage women to seek proper diagnosis and treatment.
Endometriosis is a real condition that affects so many women. During Endometriosis Awareness Month, let's spread awareness and understanding of the condition. While there is no cure, there are ways to manage symptoms and improve your quality of life. Don't be afraid to seek help and support. Together, we can break down the barriers and make a difference.
If this is something you are struggling with, or want to know more, call us on 7225 4335 or book an appointment online via our website. Our Women’s Health GP along with our awesome team comprised of a Gynaecologist and Women's Health Physiotherapist can work with you as the co-managers of your care.
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