Shedding Light on Endometriosis: Understanding, Recognising, and Managing the Silent Pain

photo of skeleton showing pelvic pain

Endometriosis manifests differently in each individual, with some experiencing severe symptoms while others may have minimal discomfort. It takes an average of 6.5 years to be diagnosed with endometriosis, but symptoms can occur as early as eight years of age. Common symptoms include:

  1. Chronic Pelvic Pain: This pain may occur before and during menstruation, during intercourse, bowel movements or urination.
  2. Heavy Menstrual Bleeding: Women will often experience heavy periods or irregular bleeding.
  3. Painful Intercourse: Pain during or after intercourse (known as dyspareunia).
  4. Gastrointestinal Issues: Such as diarrhea, constipation, bloating, or nausea, particularly during menstruation.
  5. Infertility: Endometriosis can lead to fertility issues in some women due to the formation of scar tissue and adhesions that may obstruct the fallopian tubes or affect the ovaries.

Diagnosis can be challenging due to the variability of symptoms and the lack of definitive diagnostic tests. However, healthcare providers typically rely on a combination of medical history, physical examination, and imaging tests such as ultrasound or MRI.

photo diagnosing someone with endo

Medical Treatment

  • Pain Management: Over-the-counter pain relief and anti-inflammatory drugs to alleviate pelvic discomfort and menstrual cramps.
  • Hormonal Therapies: Birth control pills, hormonal patches, or progestin-only treatments can regulate hormonal fluctuations and reduce the growth of endometrial tissue.

Surgical Treatment

  • Laparoscopic surgery is recommended for severe cases to remove endometrial implants, scar tissue, or adhesions, providing relief and improving fertility prospects.

Allied Therapies

  • Integrative approaches such as physiotherapy, osteopathy, psychology and dietary changes complement conventional treatments, offering additional relief and support.
manual therapy treatment

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