A health watchdog has warned that women suffering from endometriosis can wait for as long as ten years before they are diagnosed with the ailment. The actual number of women in the world who suffer from the condition is not known, but as many as five million women in the US suffer from endometriosis while one in every ten women in the UK are sufferers.
Endometriosis which is a medical condition that happens when the uterus linings, called the endometrium, begins to grow in other places, like the fallopian tubes, bladder, bowel, around the pelvis or in the ovaries.
When the lining breaks down, just like the normal lining of the womb that causes the menstrual flow, it has nowhere to go. This then causes heavy menstrual flow, serious cramping, cysts, and sometimes infertility. Symptoms also include painful bowel movement, pelvic pain, pains during or after intercourse and fatigue.No cure has been discovered for the condition and the cause is also not known.
A lot of women of the reproductive age bracket are affected by this painful condition, making it a common gynecological condition.However, on the average women can wait for about seven and half years before been diagnosed from the inception of symptoms of the condition.
Health authorities have advised that women suffering from endometriosis should be diagnosed within a shorter period and has issued a guide informing doctors not to overlook the symptoms of the condition.
Those suspected Of living with the condition or sufferers of the condition should see gynecologists, specialists in the management of pain and fertility specialists.Health practitioners should also be aware of both the physical and psychological effects of the condition as well as the need for long-term management and treatment.
One sufferer from the condition told Sky News that she was diagnosed with endometriosis ten years after the first manifestation of the symptoms at the age of eleven.She said the pain was so excruciating that it felt like someone was using a hammer on her pelvis.She had some painful symptoms which saw her rolling on the floor.Plans and appointments have been canceled due to pains.
Lone Humelshoj, the chief executive of the World Endometriosis Research Foundation has said that more research needs to be carried out on the condition with a view of determining the cause and finding a cure for the condition.Adding that surgical and clinical data need to be collected for this purpose as such research has provided a better handling of breast cancer issues.
Diagnosis of endometriosis can only be done through laparoscopy, which is a minor surgical procedure which involves a doctor inserting a thin scope into the abdomen to view the pelvic organs, and the doctor finds extra endometrial tissue during the laparoscopy, he or she can also remove it there to treat the condition.
‘Treatment’ for the condition can include pain killers to take care of the severe cramping, a hormone therapy which will help in slowing down the growth of the endometrial tissue and lastly, surgery to remove the tissue.
Certain factors are considered before determining each sufferer’s treatment, some of which includes her age, whether she is trying to get pregnant and how severe her pains are.For those not wanting toget pregnant, birth control pills are usually administered.