The truth is, endometriosis is a painful condition that no woman should have to suffer from. There is no cure, which is frustrating and discouraging.
But, there are treatment options. Women need all the support they can get while suffering from it, from both women and men.
I explain more in-depth what endometriosis is and how to manage it in this article.
1. It’s More Than Just a Painful Period
Experiencing endometriosis is more than just going through a painful and challenging period. Of course, it’s painful, but there’s more to it than that.
Women have pain from endometriosis because the endometrial cells get displaced. Endometrial cells are located in a woman’s uterus. With endometriosis, the cells end up outside the uterus. As a result, the growths show up in places like the bladder or fallopian tubes.
Every month when a woman has her period, the cells, no matter where they are in the body, respond to hormones the same way. The difference is with endometriosis; there’s no way for the blood to leave the body.
When endometrial cells form on a bladder, for example, it swells and bleeds. Over time, the growths get bigger, which can lead to more pain and discomfort.
2. Symptoms Vary for Each Woman
There are many symptoms a woman may experience that signifies she may have endometriosis. Unfortunately, not every woman experiences the same symptoms, either. It varies depending on where the lesions get displaced in the body.
A few symptoms include:
- Period like pain that won’t go away
- Pain during and after sex
- Back pain
- Extremely heavy periods
- Irregular periods
- Experiencing extreme exhaustion
- Dealing with pain before a period begins
- Experiencing no symptoms at all!
Since symptoms vary, it’s difficult for a woman to get diagnosed with endometriosis. It can take up to seven years to get diagnosed.
3. There’s No Cure
Sadly, there’s no cure for endometriosis. There are, however, ways to cope and deal with the pain.
Here are some things women can do to experience less pain:
- Take ibuprofen and other anti-inflammatory painkillers
- Try other forms of treatment, such as cannabis (more on this next)
- Get on a form of birth control that stops the period, and hence, bleeding.
- Get surgery when scar tissue or cysts have become an issues
- Talk to health professionals about treatment options
- Talk to other women who are experiencing the same thing for support
4. You Can Use Cannabis to Help with Pain
Different strains of cannabis are popular for alleviating pain. And, in many cases, studies have shown that cannabis is very effective for managing pain associated with endometriosis.
For example, Indicas is a marijuana strain that helps the body relax. It helps people feel calmer while experiencing discomfort and pain.
If using cannabis without THC is preferred, then using a topical CBD cream might work well. CBD (short for cannabidiol) won’t make someone high but still eases pain and inflammation caused by endometriosis.
5. It Usually Goes Away After Menopause
Endometriosis usually goes away after a woman goes through menopause. That’s excellent news if you or someone you know has this painful condition! However, it’s wise to talk to a gynecologist for women who still experience symptoms after their cycle has ended.
Since there’s no menstruation after menopause, this gives the growths time to shrink. Over time, they may completely disappear.
Endometriosis is a condition that no one should ignore. For a woman who experiences symptoms like these, she should visit a gynecologist. A doctor can confirm whether they think she has it and what steps to take next.
There is no way to know for sure whether a woman has endometriosis unless she gets surgery. During the surgery, a camera searches for endometrial cells. Based on what it finds, it determines whether any growths exist. If they do, the growths get removed during surgery. Although, there’s no guarantee they won’t grow back again.
If you or anyone you know is dealing with endometriosis, know you’re not alone. There are ways to get through this painful condition and get much-needed support.
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