Painful Periods and Painful Sex Are NOT Normal. It’s Important to be Endometriosis Aware
- By Dr Emma Boulton
- ● 26 Mar 2019
Endometriosis is a poorly understood condition, especially considering it is so common. We don’t know the cause or who will get Endometriosis, however once a diagnosis of Endometriosis is made, there is treatment available.
The problem is that there is often a considerable delay before a diagnosis is made; probably due to a combination of women not speaking up about their pain and doctors not suspecting it as a diagnosis.
Suffering in silence again!?
Women are used to suffering. There are many things that we put up with because we think there is nothing that can be done, and that pain and suffering is a normal feature of being a woman. But it doesn’t have to be that way!
Depending on her age, a woman can experience many unwelcome symptoms which arise from the reproductive system. Vaginal dryness, menopausal hot flushes and stress urinary incontinence are examples of problems which commonly affect older women, but Endometriosis is notorious for affecting young women and adolescents.
Suck it up Princess - it's just period pain... NOT!!!
Cripplingly painful periods in a young woman is not normal and may be an indicator of endometriosis, so don’t assume (or believe) that it’s just a part of womanhood that must be endured.
Like all chronic pain syndromes, mental health for endometriosis sufferers can also be affected and some women experience anxiety and/or depression due to ongoing chronic pain symptoms.
What is Endometriosis?
Endometriosis is due to split cells from the uterus which bleed in places outside the uterus (typically within the pelvis) causing pain and scarring. In addition to the awful pain, women are incapacitated, unable to work or study, so families and society lose out too.
What are the Symptoms of Endometriosis?
- Heavy or irregular bleeding
- Pain that stops you from doing your usual activities on or around your period
- Pain on or around ovulation
- Pain during or after sex
- Pain with bowel movements
- Pain when you urinate
- Pain in your pelvic region, lower back or legs
- Difficulty holding on when you have a full bladder or frequent urination
What can you do if you think you may have Endometriosis?
Download our Endometriosis “Dis-Ease Journal” and start recording your symptoms today.
Make an appointment to see your GP, and if they don’t listen or take your pain seriously, seek a doctor that understands endometriosis (like all our GP’s at Clinic 66). The longer you wait, the more irreversible damage that can be done.
Is there anything I can do to help myself?
Apart from recording your pain and symptoms and getting to a doctor who understands endometriosis asap, self-treatment typically includes painkillers and warm packs, though often these are unhelpful.
Some women have found dietary modification eg FODMAP diet helpful, or breathing techniques which are used in meditation and yoga.
It is absolutely time to be Endometriosis Aware!
Endometriosis Awareness month (www.Marchintoyellow.org.au) is helping raise the profile on endometriosis and its symptoms. If you suspect that you or someone you care about has endometriosis, you need to see a doctor who can help make the diagnosis asap so that treatment can be provided.
We’re here to help. Contact Clinic 66 today to make an appointment. No referral required.
- Endometriosis Dis-Ease Journal (Download)
- Do I have Endometriosis Quiz (takes 2 minutes to complete – to help with your diagnosis)
- Dr Sarah Choi talks about Endometriosis (video: 2.18 mins)
- Endometriosis (Clinic 66 Women’s Health Services)
In this short video, Clinic 66’s Dr Sarah Choi talks about why it is important to be aware of the symptoms and seek professional diagnosis and treatment asap. Not only is suffering unnecessary, but the long term damage from endometriosis can be devastating.
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