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What is Endometriosis? Get the Facts About This Painful Disease

Do you suffer from incredibly painful periods? One in ten women has endometriosis, but it’s under-diagnosed and often brushed off as ‘just’ being period pain. Read our guide and see if the symptoms match your experience – there’s no need to put up with the pain any longer!

Symptoms of Endometriosis

6 pillarsHave you been experiencing any of these endometriosis symptoms?

  • Heavy periods
  • Painful periods
  • Pain in the lower back, pelvis or stomach
  • Bleeding between periods
  • Pain during or after sex
  • Trouble getting pregnant
  • Exhaustion
  • Discomfort when going to the toilet
  • Blood in your poo

If you’ve been struggling with these symptoms, it’s important to see your GP or a gynaecologist. They can help you figure out if your experience points to endometriosis. The only way to formally diagnose it is to have a laparoscopy. A laparoscopy is keyhole surgery that is done as an outpatient procedure. It allows the doctor to see inside your womb and look for abnormal tissue, as well as to take a sample for analysis.

Endometriosis and Your Pelvic Floor

Endometriosis can often cause pelvic floor dysfunction – most often due to chronic pelvic pain causing your pelvic floor muscles to tighten up. The best way to ease this sort of pelvic problem is to learn how to do reverse kegels. This is like doing a standard kegel, but the aim is to relax rather than strengthen the muscle.

The idea of doing a reverse kegel is a lot more difficult to get your head round than standard pelvic floor exercises. That’s they the Kegel8 Ultra 20 Electronic Pelvic Toner features a special programme for Pelvic Floor Relaxation. It works the same as the other programmes, but at a very low frequency. This low electrical frequency will help to gently train your muscles to relax more easily.

Treatment for Endometriosis

This condition will get better by itself in around 3 out of 10 cases, but 4 out of 10 will get worse. There are various ways to treat endometriosis pain; the first step most people take is to take a painkiller. If your pain has become debilitating, then paracetamol probably won’t touch it; this is when your GP can help.

You can have hormone treatment to reduce the amount of oestrogen in your body – this can be as simple as taking the contraceptive pill. By reducing oestrogen your body will reduce or stop production of the tissue growth that’s causing your pain.

If your endometriosis has become particularly bad then you may need surgery to get rid of the excess tissue. This can generally be done by keyhole surgery, using heat and lasers to destroy and remove patches of tissue from your womb. It’s done under general anaesthetic and can make a big difference to severe symptoms.

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Myths about Endometriosis

Due to the lack of information available about endometriosis, there are a lot of things that people believe about it that aren’t true. Here are some of the biggest myths:

  • Becoming pregnant will cure it: pregnancy can bring relief from symptoms but only temporarily. It’s also not a great reason to decide to have a baby!
  • Delaying pregnancy causes it: this is untrue; you can develop endometriosis at any time and whether you’ve had children isn’t a factor.
  • Having a hysterectomy will cure it: it can in some cases, but often doesn’t work. If your doctor suggests surgery, it’s important to weigh up the pros and cons
  • It means you are infertile: around 30-40% of women with endometriosis will have trouble conceiving; you may need some extra help.
  • You need to rest: it is important to give yourself permission to rest if you’re in pain, but doing some exercise can help – even just going for a short walk.

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