Ah endo. I wanted to write a short description here for those who might not know much about this disease but to be honest the thought of doing so makes me feel tired to my core.
This hidden, chronic, destructive, insidious disease calls on those of us who have it to always have to explain, to educate, to convince people we meet that it is real. Endo is a disease that takes and takes and then when it has taken all you have to give it forces you give a bit more by having to persuade people you are not an attention seeker, a drug seeker, a hypochondriac or just nuts.
In medical terms endometriosis is when cells that mimic those which line the uterus are found outside uterus, elsewhere in the body. Here they continue to behave as normal endometrial cells, responding to hormones and bleeding on a monthly cycle. This causes pain, inflammation, damage to organs and can cause infertility.
The cause of this disease is not known and there is no cure. Not pregnancy, not having menopause induced and not having a hysterectomy. Despite what many of us have been told.
Some fun facts about endo:
- 1 in 10 women have this disease
- Its take on average 9 years to diagnose
- There is no cure
- The severity of the disease does not correspond to the degree of pain a woman experiences. Some women have very little or no pain
- Its causes painful periods, painful sex, bowel issues and for some women constant pain and even infertility
- The pain of the disease has been likened to a heart attack, to late stage cancer and the NHS recently listed it as one of the top 20 worst pains a human can experience
- Endometriosis can be found outside of the pelvic region, in rare cases even the lungs or brain
- It causes chronic fatique
So there you have it. That's endo. Except it's so much more. It's lives changed, relationships broken, it is anxiety and mental health issues, it is dreams stolen. But we fight. We don't have a choice but to fight but we do it well us warrior women and endo sisters.