The trouble with living with endometriosis is — apart from the pain and infertility — making people understand what you are going through. Endometriosis is a common gynaecological ailment but ironically, it is not quite well-known, at least in India. Which makes it very difficult for others to relate to you. Here are ten upsetting things only a woman suffering from endometriosis will understand.
1 People confuse your condition with period cramps
Women with endo do through debilitating pain in their lower abdomen but people mistake it for regular period cramps. Your employers wonder why you should be taking a day off when other women also go through the same ordeal every month. No! Endometriosis pain results from inflammation and is ten times worse than the cramps women of normal health experience every month. Here are some home remedies for period cramps. Here are some diet tips for endometriosis.
2 You can’t wear anything body-huggingÂ
Women experiencing endometriosis often go through the “endo-belly” where the lower abdomen looks swollen, heavy and distended. It could be mistaken for a flabby stomach or a “pregnant” belly. The problem is a common symptom of endometriosis and often results from bloating or other digestive disorders caused by the condition. This causes serious body image issues among women with endo. Avoid these food combinations to stop bloating.
3 You are always tired
No matter how well-rested you are, you never seem to have the energy. You marvel at your friends managing their domestic and professional lives with equal ease and wonder why you can’t drag yourself out of bed every morning. Because another one of endometriosis’ associated conditions is chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia, both of which can cause low energy levels. These are some of the health risks of endometriosis.
4 There is no way to predict the pain
No two periods are the same when you have endometriosis. Some months may be easy going while others may be a nightmare. It is completely possible to be symptom-free for a month and then be ambushed by the pain in the next.
5Â Pain is not limited to the abdomen
When you talk of period pain, you think of cramps in the abdomen. But in endometriosis, women experience pain, not only in their lower abdomen but in places such as the hands, legs and thighs.
6Â You have to come to terms with your infertility
Infertility is one of the associated risks of endometriosis. Many women struggling with this condition have to accept the fact that they may never have a child of their own. Although some women do go on to conceive, for most women getting pregnant is an uphill task. Some of them have fall prey to depression at the thought of being childless for life.
7 You struggle with sadness
When you have endometriosis, your constant companions are anxiety and depression. You struggle with mood swings, constant sadness and anxiety. The pall of gloom settles on almost everything you do and almost nothing can help you out of it when you are in one of your depressed spells.
8 You could lose your uterus
When things become too much to handle, you may have to consider hysterectomy as an option. It is neither a solution nor should it be anybody’s last resort. But gynaecologists all over the world suggest uterus removal as an option for endometriosis pain. Here’s how your body will change after a hysterectomy.
9 Your relationship gets affected
Women suffering from endometriosis often have to see their romantic relationships crumble under the weight of their ailment. Endo makes things difficult for women first by lowering their sex drive and then by making intercourse painful. This causes discord between the couple, often leading to breakups and even divorce. Can your relationship survive these problems?
10 You fear for your life
Gynaecologists warn women suffering from endometriosis about their increased risk for other life-threatening diseases like ovarian, endometrial and breast cancer. Increased oestrogen levels in their body make them susceptible to these cancers. So they have to take their health very seriously, screening themselves for these diseases from time to time. No matter how healthy your lifestyle is, there is always the fear of cancer at the back of your mind when you suffer from endometriosis.
Image source: Shutterstock
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