According to the World Health Organisation, Endometriosis affects roughly 10% (190 million) of reproductive age women and girls globally. Juggling various household chores while multi-tasking office work simultaneously amid Covid-19 lockdowns, women often ignore their health which could sometimes lead to serious issues like endometriosis, a common reproductive disorder.
What is Endometriosis?
Dr Manju Gupta, Senior Consultant Obstetrics and Gynaecologist at Motherhood Hospital in Noida, reveals, “Endometriosis is a condition in which the lining of the uterus, known as the endometrium, grows outside the uterus of the uterus, the fallopian tubes, the vagina, the cervix, or even on the bladder or rectum. Since women aren’t aware of the condition much, there is a delay in diagnosis of it. Thus, many women have to suffer from poor quality of life.”
Symptoms of Endometriosis:
As per Dr Manju Gupta, it is difficult to diagnose endometriosis because the condition is quite ambiguous. “Some women will have no symptoms at all while others might have all of them but it can’t be endometriosis all the time,” she says.
The exact reason behind endometriosis is also unknown and even though there are several theories, none explain all aspects of the disorder. However, some of the common symptoms noticed in women going through this disorder includes –
1. Immensely painful periods with pelvic and lower back pain
2. Pain during or after intercourse
3. Excessive bleeding
4. Digestive problems
The WHO adds painful urination, fatigue, depression or anxiety and abdominal bloating and nausea to the list of symptoms associated with endometriosis. “Sometimes the diagnosis of endometriosis, which is popularly known as ‘chocolate cyst’, takes a long time almost a decade thereby affecting the quality of life immensely. Since most women in our country consider the painful menstrual period to be “normal”, it further deteriorates their health conditions,” Dr Manju Gupta points out.
1. Women with endometriosis will not be able to be productive at their work owing to that unbearable pain.
2. Pain and dyspareunia can affect both, social and sexual aspects of a woman’s life.
3. Women with this condition may avoid having intercourse with their partners and that may take a toll on their relationship.
4. Women may avoid having sex fearing pelvic pain. Hence, these things can affect their quality of life in comparison to the general population.
5. Not only this, women with endometriosis may have low self-esteem and the symptoms like dyspareunia and dysmenorrhoea and may end up feeling lonely.
6. Endometriosis results in infertility and that in turn, can lead to stress, anxiety, depression and even trauma. Infertility can also be the culprit owing to which many relationships break. It can set in feelings of inadequacy among women. As a result, women will give up on socializing and experience mood swings.
Dr Manju Gupta advices, “A laparoscopy can be helpful in diagnosing this condition but if the condition is not diagnosed at the right time or if one fails to treat it, then it can cause severe complications like infertility and swelling of the uterus. One may require medicines or surgery to deal with it and can further plan the pregnancy.”
Laparoscopy and endometrial ablation is a gold standard treatment for moderate to severe endometriosis. Women with endometriosis can live normal life post-treatment.
Courtesy – www.hindustantimes.com