Menstrual pain is sometimes normal in women during their reproductive period.
However, when the pain persist, accompanied by other complications such as pelvic pain, pain when emptying the bowel or urinating, constipation or backache, seeking immediate medical attention is necessary. These could be signs of endometriosis.
Endometriosis is a condition where tissues similar to those that grow at the walls of the uterus commonly known as endometrium grow outside the uterus.
Daniel Sankuli, a trained gynecologist who operates in Narok town says that in rare cases, this growth can happen in lungs, the brain or the kidneys.
The cause remain unknown and some have come to describe this condition as the uterus growing inside out.
Sankuli further narrates that endometriosis is more common in women who are infertile. He is quick to note that the disorder is nothing to do with infertility.
The condition produces inflammatory substances. These substances have the potential to affect ovulation, fertilization of the eggs or implantation of embryo negatively.
This means that once discovered, fertility rate in a women may reduce.
So what are some of the signals of Endometriosis?
Pelvic pain which worsens during the menstrual period is a common sign. It may be accompanied by abnormal cramp pain.
Additionally, pain during or after intercourse may be experienced. At times, victims of Endometriosis experience pain when defecating or urinating.
Sankuli notes other signs such as back pain, fatigue, constipation, heavy blood clot during menstruation and difficult in conceiving.
According to the trained gynecologist there is no known treatment of the condition but to enhance fertility and lessen the pain surgery can be carried out.
Drugs can be used as pain reliever but long term use of such drugs always come with negative side effects.
On the impact of diet like fruits and vegetable, Sankuli references previous studies which reveal that proper dieting declines the risk associated with Endometriosis.
Consuming red meat, he warns, increases the risk.
The World Endometriosis Society and the World Endometriosis Research Foundation state that general ‘normalization’ of symptoms results in a significant delay from when a woman first experiences symptoms until when diagnosed and treated.
From the two organizations reference, endometriosis can start as early as when a girl experiences her first period.
A noteworthy concern is that pregnancy may relieve the symptoms but it doesn’t cure.
By Joseph Macharia