Much like menopause, endometriosis is another area of women’s health that is rarely spoken about even though it affects 176 million women worldwide. In fact, one in 10 women of reproductive age in the UK suffers from endometriosis.
After fibroids, endometriosis is the second most common gynaecological condition in the UK, and its prevalence in infertile women is as high as 50%. The cause of endometriosis is unknown and there is no definite cure.
What is Endometriosis?
Endometriosis is a condition where tissue similar to that of the lining of the womb starts to grow in other places, such as the ovaries and fallopian tubes. Endometriosis has no prejudice; it can affect women of any age. The symptoms of endometriosis can vary. Some women are severely affected, while others might not have any noticeable symptoms.
The main symptoms of endometriosis are:
pain in your lower tummy or back which usually worsen during, or at the onset, of your period
period pain so bad it stops you doing your normal activities
pain during or after sex
pain when urinating or during bowel movements during your period
feeling sick, constipation, diarrhoea, or blood in your pee during your period
difficulty getting pregnant
Sufferers may also have very heavy periods, where some may have very light menstruation. For some women, endometriosis can have a big impact on their life and may sometimes lead to feelings of depression (source).
The actual cause of endometriosis is unknown, there are several theories but none fully explains why endometriosis occurs.
We spoke to the incredible Dee Hazelwood about her personal experience with endometriosis and how this led to enforced menopause.