Endometriosis, a potential cause of painful periods

Posted by Melissa Callaghan on

I’m sure we have all heard of it before but do we really know what it is and how common it is?
About 1 in 10 women will have endometriosis and not realise it.

Unfortunately, there is a delay of about 7 – 10 years from when signs and symptoms begin to an actual diagnosis. It can begin anywhere from beginning of menstruation as a young girl to menopause.

Why does it take so long to diagnose?

It is quite simple.

Signs and symptoms become accepted as a normal part of a woman’s menstrual cycle by both women & girls as well as medical practitioners. The oral contraceptive pill is usually prescribed for heavy and painful period. Unfortunately, the pill can mask endometriosis or even feed it and make it worse depending on which pill has been prescribed. It is common for me to hear from a mother of a teenager that she had painful periods as a teenager so she thought her daughter’s painful periods were just normal.

PERIOD PAIN IS NOT NORMAL

Let’s talk more about Endometriosis

The endometrium is a lining in the uterus, it is the mucous membrane that changes throughout the menstrual cycle. It gets thick and rich with blood vessels to prepare for pregnancy and if there is no pregnancy then it sheds causing menstrual bleeding.

Endometriosis is when tissue that is similar to the endometrium lining occurs outside this layer and causes pain and/or infertility. The abnormal growth causes inflammation. This tissue is also able to reproduce itself as part of the inflammatory process. Which means the longer it takes to be diagnosed the worse it is going to get.

What are the signs and symtpoms?

• Pain in the lower abdomen
• Pain in the lower back
• Pain in the pelvis during menstruation and ovulation
• Pain in the rectum
• Pain in the vagina
• Pain during sexual intercourse
• Heavy menstrual bleeding
• Irregular menstruation
• Painful menstruation
• Dark, clotted blood
• Spotting
• Irritable bowel syndrome
• Painful bowel movements or urination, especially during menstruation
• Infertility
• Abdominal fullness or cramping
• Chronic fatigue
• Emotional changes

Endometriosis is classified depending on the location, extent, and depth of the endometriosis implants. As well as if there is any scar tissue and how severe it is as well as any endometrial implants in the ovaries. It is classified into four stages – I-minimal, II-milk, III-moderate, and IV-severe. The stage of endometriosis is connected to the signs and symptoms, infertility however is usually connected with stage IV.

EARLY DIAGNOSIS IS KEY TO REDUCING THE IMPACT OF ENDOMETRIOSIS – TEENAGERS ARE NOT TOO YOUNG TO HAVE ENDOMETRIOSIS


Please if you are experiencing any of these signs and symptoms seek help now as delaying can only make it worse

Who am I?

I am a Bachelor qualified Naturopath who specialises in improving metabolic processes in the body. Major areas for improvement include gut, thyroid, kidney, skin and liver health. Conditions such as hypothyroidism, fatty liver, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, type II diabetes, & irritable bowel conditions. I help my patients by giving them symptomatic relief while working on repairing the underlying causes of metabolic stress and waste accumulation. Patients experience amazing results which are seen in their blood tests with improved thyroid markers, cholesterol, and liver markers.  As well as lower blood pressure and see relief from improved gastrointestinal symptoms like the ones that mean you need to know where every single toilet is before you leave the house. 

Melissa Callaghan ND, BHSc, BTeach
Clinical Naturopath

 

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