The 6 signs you’re suffering endometriosis that plagues 1 in 10 women and takes 10 YEARS to diagnose

Endometriosis is a chronic and incurable condition that affects around two million women in the UK. And for some of the 1 in 10 women affected, it can take up to a decade to get a diagnosis.

 

The painful condition occurs when tissue from the lining of the womb is found in other areas of the body including the ovaries, Fallopian tubes, the abdomen and the bladder.

 

Its exact cause isn’t known, but it’s thought it could be hereditary or due to environmental factors.

 

And despite being the second most common gynaecological condition in the UK, it can still take up to a decade for some women to get diagnosed.

 

Experts put it down to the fact symptoms can often be ignored or mistaken as signs of other illnesses.

 

Dr Sarah Jarvis, GP and clinical director of Patient.info, told The Sun Online: “One of the biggest challenges with getting a diagnosis of endometriosis is that the symptoms may be mistaken for other problems.”

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Sadly, there’s no cure but getting a diagnosis will allow for earlier treatment that could help people avoid years of unbearable pain.

 

The best way to do that is to be aware of the signs so that endometriosis can be picked up sooner.

The 6 signs you’re suffering endometriosis that plagues 1 in 10 women and takes 10 YEARS to diagnose

With the help of Dr Sarah, here we talk you through the 8 symptoms to know..

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1. Heavy periods
One of the main symptoms is painful periods – but the pain is often more severe than ‘normal’ period pain, and lasts from a few days before the period until the end of the period.

Many women also have low tummy and pelvic pain, which may be worse before and during a period but can be there all the time.

 

2. Pain during and after sex
Painful sex – especially during deep penetration – is also a common symptom of endometriosis. This can last for several hours after sex.

Penetration and other movements related to sex can pull and stretch endometrial tissue, especially if it has grown behind the vagina or lower uterus.

 

3. Infertility
Endometriosis can also make it harder for you to get pregnant.

If you have endometriosis and are trying to get pregnant without success, it is important that you get help and support so speak to your doctor about being referred to a gynaecologist or a fertility specialist.

 

4. Bleeding between periods
Spotting between periods might not seem like too bothersome a problem but it can be one of the key signs of endometriosis.

A study published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology showed premenstrual spotting is the clearest predictor of endometriosis.

 

5. Pain when you go to the toilet
It can also cause pain when you wee or poo and very occasionally blood in the wee or poo.

You may also experience fatigue, diarrhoea, constipation, bloating or nausea.

Dr Sarah Jarvis said: “Unfortunately it isn’t always easy to treat endometriosis once it is diagnosed.

“If you don’t want to get pregnant, hormone treatments (including the IUS – a hormone-releasing coil) and the combined oral contraceptive pill (sometimes called ‘the pill’) may help.

“If not, the next stop might be other hormone treatments called GnRH analogues, progestogen hormone tablets or danazol.

“Surgery (usually using a flexible telescope inserted through a small cut in the tummy) can allow doctors to destroy patches of endometriosis in the tummy cavity. Hysterectomy is usually kept as a last resort.”

 

6. Fatigue
Endometriosis is typically characterised by heavy, painful periods, but for some it can actually leave them feeling exhausted or totally lacking energy.

 

Recent research found that twice as many women with the condition experience fatigue compared with those who don’t.

 

The 2018 study, published in the journal Human Reproduction, also found that these women were also seven times more likely to have insomnia and four times more likely to be depressed.

 

The researchers said: “Fatigue is an underestimated symptom of endometriosis as it affects the majority of women with endometriosis, but it is not widely discussed in literature.”

 

If you think you have symptoms of endometriosis, it’s important that you speak to your doctor.

 

 

THE SUN

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