Endometriosis is a condition where tissue similar to the the lining of the womb starts to grow elsewhere in the body.
Each month, the cells react in the same way to those in the womb, building up, breaking down then bleeding. What’s different is these cells have no way to escape unlike the cells in the womb which leave the body as a period.
This can cause debilitating pain and/or heavy periods. The condition can also cause problems with the bladder and bowels, can lead to fatigue and even infertility.
and it can affect all women and girls of a childbearing age. It is the 2nd most common gynaecological condition in the UK and the prevalence in women with infertility can be as high as 30-50%.
Though not fully understood, Endometriosis can cause fertility issues. Not all women with endometriosis will have problems with pregnancy, and many do go on to have healthy children, however there are treatments for those facing issues. Click onto the NHS webpage for their list of complications that women can face such as adhesions, ovarian cysts and complications from surgery.
To show our support for Endometriosis Awareness Month, we’d like to share two stories, one from a current Kanga employee, and one from a former employee. They’ve both kindly shared their endometriosis journeys so we can do our bit to raise awareness of the condition and encourage more women to join in the conversation.
My symptoms started in 1993 after stopping the contraceptive pill. It took me 3 years to be diagnosed with Endometriosis at the age of 26. I had suffered for years with both horrendous periods and IBS (thought to have been brought about by the hormone levels from the disease).
After deciding against taking a prescription menopause-mimicking drug, I decided to try and get pregnant. Thankfully, this did not take long. I had a beautiful baby girl. However, symptoms did not go, and I soon experienced another large cyst and pain. It was agreed I could try for baby number two as I feared hysterectomy was looming. After my second daughter I had to have my very large cyst removed along with the ovary and fallopian tube. All done by Laparoscope. Little scarring. I was age 32.
My gynaecologist advised it was unlikely I would ever conceive again due to the extent of lasering. However, I went on to conceive again, a complete surprise. She really was against all odds.
After my third daughter, I had the Mirena coil which worked well in alleviating painful symptoms.
At age 49 I suffered again with dysmenorrhoea and decided to have an Endometrial Ablation and it has been successful up to now.
Mine is a story of blessings. I hope my story inspires anyone suffering and hoping to conceive.
After 3 years of getting dismissed for the unexplained and excruciating pain, I finally got referred to a specialist and went for my first laparoscopy back in March 2018, where I was diagnosed with endometriosis.
4 operations, countless investigative procedures/scans and various types of medications later and I am still not completely rid of the effects endometriosis has left me with.
1 in 10 women in the UK live with Endometriosis with the average time from the onset of symptoms to diagnosis of 7.5 years!
I was lucky enough to have been diagnosed after only 3 years, but the national endometriosis society claims approximately 2 million women in the UK are living with endometriosis undiagnosed.
If you’d like to know more about the condition or you’re seeking support, Endometriosis UK are a very useful resource. They have support groups, a helpline, their online community and a wealth of information all accessible on their website.
Feel like going a step further? Take the 1 in 10 challenge and do your bit to help #EndoTheStigma.