National Endometriosis Awareness Month
March is National Endometriosis Awareness month, a time to raise awareness and increase education around a condition that affects one in 10 women in Australia.
Despite being a relatively common condition, there is still a lack of understanding that surrounds endometriosis and what sufferers experience.
Endometriosis is a condition where tissue similar to that which normally lines the uterus grows in other parts of the body, usually in the pelvic cavity.
During a period, when the lining is shed, this tissue outside the uterus also bleeds. When this bleeding occurs, inflammation, scar tissue, cysts and adhesions are formed. Over time and with subsequent menstrual cycles, the scar tissue increases and can immobilise organs, fuse organs and cause damage to the fallopian tubes.
Myths surrounding endometriosis can leave women feeling frustrated, confused and misinformed about their diagnosis and the treatment options available. This only adds to the stress and anxiety that is often associated with this condition.
At Grace Private, our trusted team of highly skilled specialists use the latest evidence-based care to guide and support women through their endometriosis journey, because we believe every woman deserves to live her best life.
Fact: Although it’s common for women in their 20s to be diagnosed with endometriosis, these women have often been suffering from pain and symptoms since their first period. Girls as young as seven have been diagnosed with endometriosis.
Fact: This is a common misconception. Some women have been known to experience a reduction in the severity of their endometriosis while pregnant, however evidence shows that pregnancy is not a cure.
Fact: Having endometriosis does not mean you’re infertile, in fact, the majority of women who are diagnosed with endometriosis will fall pregnant naturally without a problem. That said, if you’ve been diagnosed with endometriosis, it’s important to have fertility conversations with your specialist, especially if you’ve been trying to fall pregnant for six months or more.
Fact: The severity of endometriosis differs from woman to woman and isn’t related to the amount of endometriosis you have in your body.
Fact: While women can experience a certain amount of pain during periods, pain that stops you doing your normal daily activities and can’t be managed by over-the-counter medication is NOT normal.
Endometriosis pain comes in many different forms including painful periods, pelvic pain, painful bowel movements, painful sex, back, leg and shoulder pain and more.
Fact: Unfortunately, there is no wonder pill or surgical cure for endometriosis. While certain hormone medications such as progesterone, GRH analogues and the oral contraceptive pill can suppress the symptoms of endometriosis, they are not a cure.
Fact: It’s hard to believe, but there’s still a myth circulating that endometriosis is a sexually transmitted disease. Let’s shutdown this myth right now. Endometriosis cannot be transmitted sexually and is in no way related to any kind of STI.
Fact: Surgery is often a vital treatment for endometriosis. On the upside, by choosing the right specialist, you’ll still be able to wear your bikini with confidence after a procedure.
At Grace Private, our gynaecologists specialise in minimally invasive surgery which involves making small abdominal incisions and using a laprascopic microscope to complete the surgery. The outcome is minimal scarring and a faster recovery time.
We’ve exposed just a few of the myths surrounding endometriosis. Remember to empower yourself with knowledge and only trust information from reputable sources such as your GP, gynaecologist or advocacy groups.
If you’d like to book an appointment with a Grace Private specialist, remember to ‘ask for Grace’ when you next visit your GP.