Endometriosis, in it’s simplest terms, is when tissue that acts like the lining of your womb is found outside your womb. It can theoretically grow anywhere within your body, but usually this tissue is found growing on the outside of your ovaries, pelvis and outside of the uterus itself.
So what does this mean? Well, unfortunately, it means pain for most of us women who suffer with ‘endo’, as this excess tissue really shouldn’t be there and therefore causes extra grief.
It all makes sense really. When your body is going through it’s monthly cycle and your period begins, your uterus lining begins to shed as normal. Fine, that makes sense. But this other uterine tissue outside of your womb also starts to shed. Except, it’s got nowhere to go, so in effect it bleeds and scars in other parts of your body, but with no escape route. It’s trapped. And that is what can cause us such excrutiating pain.
Women who suffer from endometriosis often experience terribly painful cramps all throughout the month, but more so during menstruation. The more severe the pain doesn’t necessarily equate to more endometrial tissue – the two don’t go hand in hand. Sometimes, women with very little endo can suffer horrendous cramps whilst those with advanced endo may have far less pain. There’s no logic to it.
You can find out more from a number of terrific sites, aimed at helping women through both the physical and mental troubles that endometriosis can cause.
To get started, I’d recommend having a look at Endometriosis UK, a leading UK charity who provide a lot of terrific information and support to women 🙂