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We need to talk about:<br/>

We need to talk about:

If you know, you know and if you don’t, well… lucky you.

March 23, 2022
Contributor - Mariella Agapiou

First things first, to all our fellow endo sufferers, can we just start by saying – you are warriors! It’s the most misunderstood thing in the world, those crippling cramps, bloated tummies, painful periods and everything in-between aren’t for the faint hearted. Advocate for yourself all day, every day until you get the help you need – there are 176 million of us in your corner.

What is it:

Endometriosis is an inflammatory condition that sees tissue similar to the lining of the womb grow in other areas such as the ovaries and fallopian tubes. It can affect women at any age, but usually occurs around the reproductive age, so 15 to 49, typically.

Common Symptoms:

Symptoms of endometriosis include painful periods, painful ovulation, pain during or after sexual intercourse, heavy bleeding, fatigue, chronic pelvic, lower back, lower abdomen, vagina and rectal pain. Sadly, at times, infertility too. What people often forget is that when all of that comes (often together at once!), it can (and does) have a significant impact on general physical, mental and social wellbeing.

Amy’s Experience:

“I was in agony constantly. I don’t remember a time between my mid-teens and early 20s where I wasn’t in pain. I couldn’t bare clothing touching my tummy; subsequently, I was walking around in clothes two sizes too big and bullied at school as a result of.

I was told it’s normal for girls to have painful periods. (spoiler: it’s not) and when I became sexually active some years later, I was told it’s quite normal for sex to hurt. (spoiler: it’s definitely not).

Eventually I found my dream gynecologist (it’s kind of like kissing a frog, until you find that one prince) and a laparoscopy showed endometriosis all over my ovary and urethra. I’m not sure I’ve ever been so overjoyed at a medical diagnosis: I finally had an answer to the passing out, the constant back pain, the excruciating periods and the tummy that made me look like an expectant young Mum day in and day out.”

Endometriosis can feel overwhelming. The condition doesn't just affect the pelvic region. The body's response to the inflammation causes sensitizes in the central nervous system and that can cause emotional symptoms too, like anxiety and depression. If you don’t know what’s going on, this sensitisation messes with your head. If your head is not right, there’s a good chance you're in distress; understandably.

This is where endo crosses the line from a physical ailment to an emotional and spiritual one, too.

Unfortunately, a huge part of the problem for many is shame. The symptoms of endometriosis can be embarrassing to talk about. Who wants to talk about the fact their vagina aches, or that they can’t poop without feeling like their insides are about to fall out to complete strangers in an often-white sterile environment.

I’ve come to learn there’s power in talking about it. Endo might be an invisible disease, but that doesn't mean that the people who suffer from it must also become invisible. It's important to destigmatise pelvic pain in any form, so that we can talk openly to each other about things that might have helped along the way. The sad reality is that there’s a fellow female somewhere suffering in complete silence – as women, we can’t let that happen.

When in doubt about anything related to your health or mental wellbeing, always consult a medical practitioner. In addition, here’s some links that act as a great resource whilst you’re trying to figure things out.

Shop Body Essentials at Project bYouty.

March 23, 2022
Contributor - Mariella Agapiou
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