What is endometriosis?

Endometriosis is a chronic condition affecting millions of women all around the world, causing persistent pain in many different places, internal bleeding, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, excessive bleeding, infertility and else. It occurs when the tissue lining the uterus grows outside it and keep responding the same way it would if it were still inside the uterus. For now, the cause of endometriosis is unknown.

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I'll simply answer the most frequent questions I get asked about endometriosis ever since I was diagnosed back in January 2017.

What exactly is endometriosis?

Endometriosis is a disease where tissue from the lining of the uterus (endometrium) grows outside of it, and keep responding to the menstrual cycle the same way it's supposed to inside the uterus - each month the tissue thick in get ready to receive the egg, and when not fertilized, the tissue breaks down and sheds through the vagina, it's menstrual period. The blood made from the shed misplaced tissue has no way of leaving the body which causes internal bleeding and inflammation engendering intense pain and extreme fatigue. Depending on where the endometrial growths, it can block the fallopian tubes.

What are the symptoms?

The symptoms differ from one case to another. But the most frequent symptoms imply chronic pain, severe pain during ovulation and/to end of period (a pain compare to pain during labor), fatigue, painful urination, painful bowel movement, gastrointestinal disorder, vomiting, pain during sex, headache, bloating, heavy bleeding, temporary muscle weakness, and infertility.

What causes endometriosis?

What causes endometriosis haven't been discovered yet. Many theories have been made but none were proved for now.

Is there any treatment?

There is no treatment known for endometriosis but there are options to help you go through depending on your personal and medical situation.

How is it like for me - to live with endometriosis?

Living with endometriosis is so exhausting on so many levels. Living with a chronic pain is very hard, and make me schedule my life around it, when to travel when to go out, when to meet my friends, and even when to get out of bed, which I can't do every day. Each case is different, I personally feel a constant pain on my ovaries and surrounding areas due to the permanent inflammation, and I also do feel a perpetual pain in my right kidney in which endometrial tissue has grown. But this is the 10 days of the month where I actually feel like a normal person until my ovulation comes and leaves me in pain, I wish you'll never experience.  When the pain reaches a level that even morphine can't help me go through, my body just has this reaction, and sort of turns off to protect myself.  I pass out for a few seconds and come back but the pain being still too strong I pass out again and I'm pretty much on and off like this until I'm in the ER with an IV to help me through. When the pain doesn't reach this level, and I don't pass out, the pain is so unbelievably strong that I can't even breathe properly.
 It really is hard, but I do still have beyond amazing moments when I feel ok, and my family, friends, and fiancé are the best, and very supportive, which help me a lot & make me happy, and worth the only 10 days of the month when I can live normally. Also, I know that I'm not alone feeling this way. But what's the hardest is knowing that I might never be able to have a child, I'd definitely say that this is from far no matter how strong is the pain what haunts me the most.

Am I infertile?

No one can tell for sure how much it affects my fertility, but my dream has always been to have a family at a young age, and I am so lucky to have already met my partner who aspires to the same thing that I do, so I really really really hope that I am able to get pregnant whether we get pregnant naturally, with the help of medication or IVF.

I hope you don't have to deal with endometriosis, but if you do you're not alone. 💗



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Joanna Colomas