Facts, symptoms and signs of Endometriosis
what is endometriosis?
Endometriosis is a female disease in which endometrial-like tissue is found outside of the uterus in other parts of the body. This painful reproductive disorder affects 176 million women worldwide.
why is it hard to diagnose?
In average 10 years need for diagnose in Europe.
It can be very difficult for a woman, particularly a young woman, to recognize the symptoms of endometriosis. Often the disease only to be discovered when a patient presents with infertility or symptoms that have become very severe.
"It's cultural misogyny. These women think that having the pain of all degrees - to the extent of tortuous pain - is part of being a woman. That suffering and pain is part of their sexuality. But this pain is not normal, and the taboo that surrounds it must not be either. Girls are accused of exaggerating or performing like it's some kind of excuse. They're told it's all in their head. As a result, they can lose confidence and turn inward and get withdrawn and depressed."
I have found this incisive explanation in an interview with the well-respected endo expert Dr. Tamer Seckin.
Unfortunately, neither the signs and symptoms nor the physical examinations can be trusted to effectively develop the diagnosis of endometriosis. Imaging research studies, such as ultrasound, can be practical in eliminating other pelvic diseases and also might recommend the existence of endometriosis in the genital as well as bladder locations, however they could not accurately diagnose endometriosis. For an exact medical diagnosis, a direct aesthetic assessment inside of the hips and also abdomen, along with cells biopsy of the implants are essential.
Consequently, the only conclusive method for detecting endometriosis is surgical. This needs either laparoscopy or laparotomy (opening up the abdomen utilising a large laceration).(2)
what can it be misdiagnosed as?
Endometriosis can mask itself as a number of conditions causing your doctor to misdiagnose or mistreat your condition as:
- Hemorrhagic Cysts
- Need for Hysterectomy
- A regular period in youth
- "In your head"
what happens if you don't get diagnosed early?
The first thing is the quality of life over time decreases. Being in pain eight, ten, 16 days a month is not easy. And then there's the fertility issue. Many endometriosis patients fail to have more than one kid. If the disease is not treated, eventually it settles on to side organs, and the patient ends up having to have radical surgery, or have her bowel taken out, or she loses her uterus, or some lose ovaries. In my case, I lost my gallbladder at age 28.
what are the symptoms of endometriosis?
- Painful menstrual cramps often classified as debilitating, excruciating, killer cramps. pain may get worse over time.
- Chronic or intermittent pelvic pain
- Chronic pain in the lower back
- Spotting or bleeding between menstrual periods
- Heavy bleeding during menstrual cycle
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Constipation or nausea during your menstrual cycle.
- Dyspareunia- pain during or after sex
- Painful orgasm
- Painful bowel movements or painful urination
- Rectal pain
- Blood in urine
- Urinary frequency, retention or urgency
- Urinary tract difficulties
- Neuropathy. nerves affected by advanced cases of the disease and symptoms can include radiating pain to the back, inner thigh, legs and along the track of sciatic nerve. Some patients find it difficult to cross their legs, and in some cases, their walking and gait are influenced.
- Infertility. The inability to conceive or properly carry a child. This can also include miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy.
- Constant discomfort(1)
I had every symptoms except heavy bleeding, thigh and back pain. Still, 6 different gynecologists gave me 5 different kinds of antibiotics and even a steroid treatment over the past few years. I was told to stop yoga and all kind of exercises. I went to see several times gastroenterologist as well and spent a fortune on the medication they prescribed over more than ten years. Again a bunch of antibiotics.
Sad story, but finally when my gallbladder caused a heavy pain what literally forced me to stay in bed for 1 week without eating normally (I ate only grapes) an emergency operation needed. Luckily laparoscopic surgery is the only way to surely diagnose endometriosis as well.
I was still not an easy round. The doctors sent me home 2 times before they finally believed this is a pain that I cant take, even though I am young and look healthy and felt super proud of myself to be able to stand. For the first time a tired, young doctor gave me a nice cocktail of painkillers in infusion and without ultrasound examination and looking at my blood test results, started to twist my spine to both sides. (that didn't feel like a fairy tale) He thought it's just a block in my spine.
The second time the nurse told me to go to the family doctor this is a place for an emergency. I started to cry, then she forwarded my folder to the doctor. My blood results did not show a high level of inflammation, so they kept sending me home with ibuprofen. I could not even go to the toilet alone that time.
A few painful days later, I went back, packed my slippers, pajamas, and toothbrush for the third time. After waiting for the morning I got a bed and the next the afternoon finally they made the operation. I was 48 kg (175cm) after the surgery and weak. If an operation is planned, that is a whole different story. Mine was not, because there was not one doctor in my life who was willing to examine the whole body, not prescribing antibiotics for a guess.