Thursday, February 14, 2013

What is this condition?

Okay; so basically some of you are probably even wondering what the hell I talk about when I speak about endometriosis.. It unfortunately is a very painful condition that only 1 in about 10 women will experience in their lifetime.. So of course amongst other things, I am that lucky one!! What has started off as "painful cramps" has turned into a everyday struggle.. In true Le-Guier style (we have to go the full way!) I am of course that lucky lady who's endo has returned in record time.. I do have some blissful relief for a few months once I have undergone an operation to remove it. During that time I am generally pain free and very happy! Now for some ladies, one this has been removed the endo will not come back to attack for a few years (if they're lucky!) but for me.. I have at most only have 3 months relief..I'm feeling like this blog is now a way to raise awareness, unless you have been through this condition you have no idea the amount of pain I can/will be in on a daily biases. It is alot more than painful cramps.. Its very hard to explain this to someone who has no idea what is going on because as usual, I do not look sick, this is a chronic condition that I can only feel, I will never look sick due to this condition and that can be the hardest bit. People expect you to be 100% when most of the time i'll only be maybe 10%. Its very easy for me to wake up in chronic pain to the point where I will just lay and rock myself to sleep crying with a wheat pack, I will take more than the recommended dose of pain killers.. I just need relief.. Its very frustrating being me, I understand that people are a lot worse of than I am, but when that pain kicks in.. Its hard to feel sorry for no one else!Currently there is no cure for endometriosis.. I have been told that
a)falling pregnant
b)having a hysterectomy, will cure my condition but due to the extensive amount of research I have put upon myself to find answers, it can not be cured.. Surgery is of course currently the only way to have some "relief" I have been put on hormone pills and have been on the active pill for over 7 months now (not menstruating) and its still growing at a rapid pace.. We need awareness and i want a cure! So sit back and have a read of what the symptoms of endometriosis are and exactly what it is!

What is Endometriosis?

Endometriosis is a condition whereby the lining of the womb (endometrium) grows outside the womb into other organs e.g. the ovary, tubes, bowel and bladder etc. The endometrium is usually shed every month during menstruation if the woman is not pregnant. The endometrium responds to hormones from the ovary i.e. oestrogen and progesterone, which regulate endometrial growth and shedding. In endometriosis these endometrial cells grow outside the uterus and respond to the same ovarian hormones that control normal endometrial growth. This leads to internal bleeding, chocolate cysts (haemorrhage into the ovary) and inflammation causing pain and eventually scar tissue (adhesions).

Endometriosis affects up to 10% of Australian women of reproductive age and may be found in up to 25-40% of women who complain of pelvic pain or infertility (difficulty falling pregnant)

What symptoms and problems does endometriosis cause?
Bleeding internally into the pelvis and abdominal cavity leads to inflammation and scar tissue formation. Women who suffer from endometriosis may complain of the following symptoms:

• Severe period pains (dysmenorrhoea). Although many women do complain of mild period pains, it is not normal to suffer from severe period pains which are incapacitating. Often severe dysmenorrhoea is related to endometriosis.
• Pelvic pain. Endometriosis not only leads to period pains, but may cause pain in the abdomen and pelvis during other times of the menstrual cycle.
• Pain during sex (dyspareunia). If endometriosis grows near the top of the vagina and around the neck of the womb (utero-sacral ligaments) this can cause extreme tenderness, especially when touched as occurs during sexual intercourse.
• Pain on opening your bowels (dyschezia). Endometriosis can affect the bowel (rectum) and the area between the rectum and posterior vagin (typically in the are called, the Pouch of Douglas). This can lead to pain every time you open your bowels. This is especially exacerbated around the time of your periods.

So as you can see.. This is a very complicated condition which 176 million women suffer every day! Bellow one photo is quite graphic (be warned!) this is endometriosis stage four I believe and this is what they will remove during surgery.. Yes that liquid causes a lot of pain! The second photo is all the spots of which endo can occur!

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