Firstly, I am no doctor. Far from it. This is just what I’ve learnt through my own research, years of going to doctors/specialists and talking to other women. I will include some links I found helpful at the end, just in case my totally unprofessional version is not enough for you (which, well, I understand).
Endometriosis occurs when similar tissue to the lining of your uterus, grows on the wrong places. This tissue is called the endometrium and it’s the layer which sheds with your period. Instead of growing on the inside of your uterus, it grows on the outside. Instead of leaving your body, like a good little period, it doesn’t. It causes inflammation and pain and can leave super bad scar tissue. It can also lead to the ovaries, uterus, bowel and Fallopian tubes getting stuck together. Real nasty stuff.
The causes of endo are unknown at this point which sucks. However research suggests it could be a genetic thing. But nothing is certain, so….who knows. There’s also apparently this thing called retrograde menstruation or backward menstruation. Basically instead of menstrual fluid all leaving the body, it flows back up the Fallopian tubes. Somehow, this may cause endo but again, who knows.
To be diagnosed with Endo, there is a bit of a process. And by a bit of a process, it took me 3 years and I am one of the lucky ones. I was told it was simply bad period pain for the first year. During the second year, they continued to tell me it was just bad period pain, but also did a bunch of tests (I think it was just to get me to shut up). I had to get numerous blood tests, both an internal and abdomen ultrasound before they put me on a waiting list to see a gynecologist. I also become a professional in urine samples. I knew that I simply needed a laparoscopy to confirm I had endo, but they needed to check everything else before booking me in. A laparoscopy is a surgical procedure and you’ll have to go under a general anaesthetic. They use a small medical tool thing (again, not a doctor) to inspect your pelvic organs. For mine, I had three small incisions, but everyone is different.
Now, the symptoms are different for everyone, but the most common ones are: intense period pain, pain during or after sex, back and thigh pain, nausea and lethargy. I will go into more details of my symptoms in a few weeks.
I hope this helped you understand a bit more about endometriosis. I’ll be honest though, normally when people ask me what endo is, I either say, “my uterus doesn’t work” or “my uterus hates me.” It’s easier than trying to explain all the other details.
If you were wanting more info, check out the links below