When I was first diagnosed with Endometriosis two years ago, I was like ‘what the f is that?!’ I remember my gynaecologist telling me my diagnosis over the phone and asking me to book an appointment to get my stitches removed and she would explain to me what it was at the same time.
Me being me, I went straight onto google the second I got off the phone with her and typed in whatever I remembered of this big word she threw at me.
‘metreos…’ I typed, and Google completed the rest of the word for me.
There it was…’ENDOMETRIOSIS’.
It has a name. This is what I have. Great.
I tried not to fall into the black hole that is Google, so I only clicked on a few links. I remember a website talking about ‘retrograde menstruation’, another talking about how it was genetic and third website suggesting that pregnancy may be a cure for this disease. I stopped Googling instantly.
I was baffled, but ok, sure, whatever you say, Internet.
I truly believe knowledge is power, and the more I’ve learnt about this invisible disease in the past couple of years, the more I’ve realised how much BS is out there regarding this condition.
So here’s a list of myths surrounding Endometriosis.
Women with Endometriosis Can’t Have Children
I have never pictured myself having children, but when I found out about Endo, one of the questions I asked my specialist was ‘Can I have children?’, and her response without hesitation was ‘yes’.
Not every woman with Endo is infertile.
Some women have children after they’ve found out they have Endo.
Some women have children before they find out they have Endo.
Some women eventually have children.
Although Endo does decrease chances of conceiving, it is still possible.
Women can also turn to fertility treatments such as IVF, hormone therapy, surgery and insemination in order to increase their chances of conceiving.
You Can’t Get Endo When You’ve Had Children/Pregnancy
There is no cure for this disease. Getting pregnant is not a cure. Endometriosis is a condition where sex hormones are imbalanced, with estrogen being the dominant hormone. Symptoms appear to be reduced in pregnant women due to higher levels of progesterone produced when pregnant.
Again, pregnancy does not guarantee prevention or a cure.
Endometriosis Only Develops in Women in Their 30’s.
Endo can present themselves in women of all ages. Women of reproductive age are most commonly affected by this condition. It is estimated 70% of all women with Endo start experiencing symptoms before the age of 20.
Endometriosis Lesions Can Become Cancerous
Although Endo is often linked to an increased risk of developing certain cancers (such as ovarian), the exact relationship between the two is not well known.
It is believed that lesions and endometriomas may eventually transform into cancerous masses, and this is thought to be due to the constant inflammation caused by Endo which can promote cancer development
There Is No Treatment
Although there is currently no known cure for Endo, there are many treatment methods available for pain management.
Treatments vary from woman to woman. One form of treatment may work extremely well for one, and make no difference for another.
There are different types of medication available such as hormone therapy, pain medication, alternative medication such as acupuncture, self-care practices such as meditation, exercise or something as simple as a heating pad or a hot bath. As every woman is different, and no two Endo sufferer is ever the same, it is best to see what will work for you, and not to be discouraged if it doesn’t.
You Can Only Get Endo Related Pain During Your Period
Although symptoms do vary from woman to woman, for most, pain can happen at any time throughout a menstrual cycle, as well as during sex or bowel movements.
Pelvic pain can also be non-existent for some women. The severity of your Endo does not necessarily correlate to the severity of your pain either. A woman in stage 1 can have the most horrendous pain, whereas a woman in stage 4 may have barely any pain or symptoms.
You Can Only Get Endo In Your Pelvis
Although signs of Endo are most commonly found in the reproductive organs such as the uterus or ovaries, in some cases, they can be found in the bowel or bladder, or in extremely severe cases, the diaphragm, lungs and brain.
Endo Can Be Cured With A Hysterectomy
Saying this one again; FALSE
There is NO CURE for Endo. A hysterectomy will simply put you through early menopause, which will present you with a whole list of other symptoms to deal with. You will also be placed on hormone therapy after the uterus and ovaries are removed, which can increase the risk of endo recurrence, due to hormonal imbalance.
Endo is Higher in Women Who Delay Childbearing
Women can have Endo in their 20s. Women who also have had children can still develop Endo. As mentioned earlier, pregnancy simply suppresses Endo symptoms.
Endo is Just a Bad Period Pain
Endo pain comes in multiple forms including chronic pelvic pain, painful bowel movements and urination, back pain, leg pain, and pain during or after sex. It can also present itself as heavy bleeding, nausea, and difficulty becoming pregnant. So no, it is not just bad period pain.
Period Pain is Normal
Any sort of pain which stops you from going to school, to work, or having a life is not normal.
Surgery Can Cure Endometriosis
Most women have initial pain relief following surgery, however, some women are required to have another surgery within two years due to Endo related symptoms returning.
1 in 10 women is not rare. That’s 176 million women worldwide.
I implore you to find out as much as you can about this condition you or someone you know is living with.
The more you know, the better the decisions you can make regarding your health and happiness.
Hope this helped.
If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below or send me an email x