Endometriosis is a condition that can be extremely painful and debilitating, especially if you aren’t aware that you have it. The first telltale signs tend to show up in women just entering puberty. If you’re on the lookout for them, and you get the support you need, then you can avoid a lifetime of uncertainty and avoidable suffering.
Endometriosis is a condition whereby a sort of tissue similar to the tissue growing inside the uterus ends up growing in the ovaries and fallopian tubes. At the end of the menstrual cycle, this tissue breaks down – but since it’s not inside the uterus, it isn’t expelled as it should be.
Recognising Early Signs
The major symptom we should be looking for is pelvic pain. However, if you’re going through your periods for the first time, you might not be able to distinguish between the ordinary discomfort you’re feeling at the really painful ones associated with this condition. The bleeding might be especially heavy, and it might take place between periods, as well as during them. Trust your instincts, here. It is not normal to be doubled over in pain once a month.
You might also experience pain whilst going to the toilet. Diarrhea, constipation and nausea are all common. Given this, it’s easy to confuse endometriosis with irritable bowel syndrome. In fact, IBS and endometriosis often coincide, which can make a diagnosis difficult. To be sure, we should make sure that we get at least one medical opinion.
Seeking A Diagnosis
This is obviously a sensitive issue. Even adult women have difficulty discussing it openly, and thus it’s unreasonable to expect teenage girls to be forthcoming. This makes it essential that lines of communication are kept open between parents, healthcare providers, and schools.
The nature of this disease makes it sometimes difficult to get a diagnosis. You might feel brushed aside by the medical professionals who treat you, even if you’re convinced that you are suffering from endometriosis. In some cases, the doctor is right to rule out this condition; in others, however, they might be in error. Advocate for yourself if you know that something is really wrong, and seek a second or third opinion.
Leave open the possibility that there might be something else causing your symptoms, but at the same time, don’t allow yourself to be brushed aside. In cases where you are misdiagnosed, you might later elect to pursue a medical negligence claim.
Educating Parents, Educators, And Healthcare Professionals
The more awareness we have of this condition, the better we’ll be at recognising it in the early stages.
Parents might foster frank communication with their children. If your adolescent believes that they will be taken seriously, they will feel comfortable raising an issue. This includes the symptoms of what might be endometriosis.
Educators might also be made aware of the disease. In a class of thirty, half of whom are girls, the chances are reasonable that one of them will suffer from this disease, which affects one in ten women.
Healthcare professionals, too, might benefit from additional education in how to deal with adolescents. There are a whole range of considerations to account for, not all of which are medical. If you can inspire patients to confide in you, then you’ll stand a much better chance of getting the right outcome for younger sufferers of endometriosis.