Oftentimes, in the build up to getting a diagnosis for endometriosis, different conclusions are arrived at in the hope that it will be the case. Sometimes, doctors are able to arrive at a diagnosis early and in some cases, they will end up treating different symptoms presented by the root cause of the condition.
Jossy had experienced painful periods throughout her life. She is the second born of four girls and the only one with that condition. Every month, her sisters took turn taking care of her through the five days that aunty flo showed up, as she was practically unable to do anything for herself.
Her period was one of the reasons, she never bothered looking for a paid employment after she graduated, as she wondered, which organisation would give her five days off and another five days of underperformance every month, while she prepared for the witch and recover from it.
Instead, she enrolled for a programme, that would allow her be her own boss and bless God, that it turned out well for her, even though, she spent less than three weeks every month working at it.
She had been to the hospital before as a teenager to complain about her period pain. She had been given some medications and told, it will get better as the years go by. It turned out to be the reverse in the case of Jossy.
Seeking some answers, she went back and this time, she was referred to a gynaecologist, who took her medical history and put her through some investigations.
The results came out and it showed that, she had cysts on her ovaries. But was that enough to cause the debilitating pain, she felt every month? The answer was, it was possible, as there was no other reason, picked up from her investigations, which could be the reason for her pain.
With her fear of surgery, all that was left was management of the condition. So, she was placed on treatment and she actually felt some relieve but it didn’t last, as she suffered a relapse, when she went for a pelvic scan and it was discovered that in addition to more cysts on her ovaries, they were larger and the medications had merely been dulling the pain, they would have caused her. It was imperative that a surgery be done to remove the cysts.
Jossy agreed to have the surgery done and upon opening her up, there was a lot more inside her than a scan could pick up. Jossy shouldn’t have been able to stand or live well, given the amount of endometrial cells outside of her uterus. They had colonised her pelvic region and the organs there in.
It was soon confirmed that Jossy didn’t just have ovarian cysts, which was big and about to rupture but actually endometriosis, which had spread to all the organs in her pelvic region.
It was a depressing diagnosis and you wouldn’t blame her for it. She’s not married, not in a relationship, because she was always bleeding, always in pain, which didn’t particularly make for a suitable mind frame for a relationship and here, she had to add the fact that, she might have issues with her fertility, especially as the doctor suggested a hysterectomy to take care of everything at once. If only it were that easy.
With such a definite surgery not an option, Jossy has undergone two surgeries to remove the cysts from her ovaries, remove endometrial cells or implants as they are called from some of her internal organs in the pelvic region.
Although, she feels betters, she can’t but feel that, she won’t exactly win this battle against endometriosis. What a sad reality for her and other women, who suffer from the painful condition.
Women who suffer from endometriosis often get ovarian cysts, otherwise known as ovarian endometrioma which is an enlarged endometrial cell that formed on the ovaries, but they don’t always rupture. And when they do, they can be treated successfully.
Besides, the ovaries produce a hormone called oestrogen, which the endometrial cell feeds on. But then, each month this displaced tissue responds to the hormonal changes that regulate your menstrual cycle, engorging itself through the first half of the cycle, and often releasing a small amount of blood in the second half, which causes repeated irritation to the surrounding tissue.
Over time this can cause scarring or adhesions inside the reproductive organs, pelvis, and intestines. This scarring is said to contribute to fertility issues and increased menstrual pain. Some 3 to 10 percent of all women have endometriosis, while 9 to 50 percent of infertility is caused by this condition.
Endometriosis is often genetic, so if your mother, sister or aunt has it, you have a higher chance of having it. Particularly long periods and severe childhood acne have also been linked to the disease’s development and recently, high levels of dioxins, a type of environmental toxin has been associated with the onset of the condition.
Unfortunately, little can be done to prevent the onset of endometriosis, but some believe that reducing inflammation in the body can lower risk or lessen symptoms.
Many doctors believe that keeping your estrogen levels low can help reduce your risk. The birth control pill, regular exercise, avoiding excessive alcohol and caffeine all help keep estrogen levels low in your body and help reduce your risk.”
There is no cure for endometriosis. Once you’re diagnosed, it’s all about treating the symptoms. Patients are often prescribed pain medications and birth control to lessen the severity of pain during their periods. If the symptoms are really severe, sometimes laparoscopic surgery to remove the scar tissue is recommended, like in the case of Jossy.
To ladies like Jossy, I can’t honestly claim to understand your pain, just because I have painful periods but I stand with you all the same.
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