What is endometriosis?
1 in 9 women are affected by Endometriosis. Endometriosis is a painful condition in which the tissue that is similar to the lining, inside of the uterus - the endometrium - begins to grow outside the uterus in other parts of the body, commonly in a woman’s pelvic area and reproductive organs. Each month, during a woman’s menstrual cycle, this misplaced tissue responds to the hormonal changes by building up and breaking down just as the endometrium does. The result of this leads to small bleeds inside the pelvis which then causes swelling, inflammation and scarring. The reason for this is because the tissue is growing and bleeding in an area where it cannot easily get out of your body.
While there is no cure for endometriosis, I felt as though I needed to find out how women dealt with, and went through their everyday lives with such painful symptoms. After reaching out to women who are on their endometriosis journey, I was taken aback by the hardships they have experienced and continue to go through.
One of the women within our community shared the following with me, “I have had endo for four years, honestly the most horrible and debilitating thing to experience”, another said “One of the worst things I have had to go through daily”.
The cruelest part of this condition is so often, these women who are suffering so horribly, are constantly turned away from health professionals and told there simply is nothing wrong with them. One of our missions at Femmé Organic is to shine a light on these strong women and spread awareness and understanding on endometriosis to help those women who are struggling daily.
I've gathered a list of suggestions from the responses I received within our endometriosis community and I’m so glad I’m able to share it with you all:
- Ovira Noha; A device that stimulates the nerves and stops your period pain instantly. No pill, no side effects, no interruptions to your day.
- Find a specialist gynaecologist you trust who is also passionate about women’s health.
- Focus on yoga, stretching, breathing exercises.
- Anti inflam diet; leafy greens, broccoli, salmon, bone broth, blueberries and flax seeds. Try to avoid dairy, gluten, alcohol and red meat.
- To reduce pain; magnesium such as almonds, avocados, spinach, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, black beans.
- Turmeric tea and honey.
- Trust your intuition! If your body doesn’t feel right, chances are it is not.
- Be open in your workplace or to your manager. “Speaking about it helped set expectations, raise awareness and helped create boundaries for me when I was in pain. It also helped with my work schedule so I was able to get the best out of the times I was feeling good and in a positive mindset”- Claire
If you feel as though something isn’t quite right, I’ve also gathered a list of symptoms that most women said they experienced before seeking help:
- Ovulation pain
- Chest pain
- Irregular cycles
- Painful intercourse
- Digestive issues
- Hormonal pelvic pain
Regardless of whether you have these symptoms or not it is so important to get regular check ups and ask questions! Don’t be afraid to speak up, avoiding the uncomfortable is only going to lead to an endless path of discomfort.
Tackling any form of health challenge can be overwhelming, and it’s totally normal and completely common to not know where to start! l have listed a few recommendations and reviews of health professionals I have received:
- Alan Lam in Sydney “Amazing Professor.”
- Dr Won at Women’s Health in Bondi Junction
- Dr Nicole Ong in Melbourne “Amazing and passionate about women’s health.”
- Professor Gabrielle Casper in St Leonards in Sydney
- Dr Krishner Specialist Gynaecologist in Sydney
- Dr Catalina Ang in Melbourne
- Eve Health in Brisbane
- Jean Hailes Medical Clinic in Melbourne
- Dr Tina Fleming
Instagram pages with tips, advice and conversation on endometriosis:
@endogram and her book ‘How to Endo’
And lastly a big thank you to all the beautiful, strong Women in our community who shared their journeys with me. May your experiences ease the journeys for others. 🤎