March is Endometriosis awareness month and as a sufferer of this crippling condition I feel very passionate on breaking the silence where periods are concerned.
1 in 10 woman have this condition diagnosed but the fear is that many more have it and put it down to what they expect is normal for a period.
Endometriosis causes many different side effects such as cramps, heavy bleeding and infertility, but every woman I have spoken to has their own unique variation of them.
The condition is where tissue similar to the lining of the womb starts to grow in other places, such as the ovaries and fallopian tubes.
Endometriosis can affect women of any age, but it’s most common in women in their 30s and 40s
I myself have been a sufferer since I began to bleed at the age of 11.
My symptoms can be so severe that I cannot move with pain and lose so much blood that it leaves me faint and in need of medical assistance.
I have had quite some time to trial all the medical world has to offer in regards to treatment and the only thing that has an effect is managing the pain and bleeding with a cocktail of drugs that often leave me with other symptoms such as stomach ulcers and hormonal changes and numerous operations.
On average it takes 7.5 years to diagnose this condition, for myself it took 13 years and even after diagnosis there is no cure and no set treatment.
In a world where we excel in medical science there simply has not been enough research into this condition to give suffers a successful treatment.
I have spent a lifetime listening to people comment that periods are meant to be painful and that I must be exaggerating the symptoms.
Although most woman will experience cramps during menstruation it is not normal to be doubled over in pain and bleeding so heavy that sanitary products cannot soak up the flow of blood.
I am however a problem solver as you all know and have found a way to live with this condition.
This last year I have turned to herbal treatments to alleviate some of the pain and although this is still a work in progress I have found that herbal products do not give me other side effects like medication does.
I have also found that exercise helps reduce symptoms as does maintaining a healthy body weight.
We know that exercise lowers Estrogen and this helps relieve symptoms along with creating endorphins that help us tolerate pain better and with exercise comes the fact you can manage weight better too.
I have also found that cutting back on bread and caffeine as well as increasing supplements such as omega and magnesium have made a massive impact on reducing symptoms.
I believe more research is needed in alternative medication as well as more knowledge on what is normal and what is not, the only way we will get this is to keep talking about our periods.
This month lets be open and talk freely about menstruation without being embarrassed and lets share the yellow bow on social media as a sign we are united in finding an end to Endo
Marita ‘I have a period’ Moore