Support for Endometriosis
Endometriosis can be a debilitating and isolating condition, affecting the day-to-day lives, relationships and social lives of 1.5 million people assigned female at birth in the UK. This is a similar number to those affected by asthma or diabetes, yet 54% of people don’t know what endometriosis is, increasing to 62% of women between the ages of 16 to 24.
Endometriosis is a chronic condition, in which tissue similar to that found in the womb grows in other parts of the body, most commonly on the ovaries, fallopian tubes and bowel. This tissue behaves in the same way as womb tissue and each month it builds up, breaks down and bleeds. But unlike womb tissue, it has no way to leave your body and your body reacts with inflammation which, in turn, can cause the formation of scar tissue, called adhesions. This process causes pain, which gets worse during menstruation, and can result in constipation, diarrhoea, difficulties conceiving, and pain during sex. These factors can affect many aspects of life, including relationships with friends and family, who may not understand the condition or the impact it has on your life.
Endometriosis can start anytime from puberty onwards, yet still awareness is low, particularly in younger age groups and amongst men. The lack of education is far-reaching, contributing to lack of conversation around the condition, a delay in access to treatment, and an increased diagnosis time, which on average takes a staggering seven and a half years from onset of symptoms.
There is support for people suffering from endometriosis; the NHS site has some useful guidance and advice, and Endometriosis UK has many resources on its website, including FAQs, personal stories and help with seeking a diagnosis. It has also launched an Endometriosis Awareness Month, with the aim of tackling the lack of understanding surrounding endometriosis. Have a look at the Endometriosis UK website for help, advice, and ways you can support others suffering from this life-changing condition.