Definition:
Endometriosis is a disease that is not uncommon among women, but remains little known. The endometrium is a layer of tissue that covers the uterine wall. For a healthy woman, thanks to hormones, the endometrium thickens in anticipation of a possible pregnancy. If the pregnancy does not occur, it breaks down and bleeds: this is called menstruation, or in common parlance, menstruation. In the case of a person with endometriosis, the cells that make up the endometrium migrate outside the uterus and settle elsewhere in the body, and these cells will therefore bleed outside the uterus but will be evacuated in the same way as menstruation. This causes inflammatory reactions, lesions, cysts in the places where the tissue is located. This can be very painful!

What age?
Endometriosis generally affects women between the ages of 25 and 50, although even teenagers can suffer from it. It is rare to find endometriosis in a woman over the age of 50, since this disease disappears spontaneously after the menopause.

A “taboo” subject because it is a disease directly related to menstruation:
The subject of endometriosis is a bit ‘taboo’ in the sense that it is a pathology that is directly related to menstruation. Menstruation is neither a happy subject, nor a subject that is discussed at all, as we can see from the various expressions that have been invented to avoid talking about it. On television commercials, menstruation is portrayed as something painless and not very disturbing. For example, we see a menstruating girl wearing short white shorts and surfing. She is smiling, happy and looks like she is having a good time. Menstruation has undergone a social representation since advertisements make people believe that it doesn’t hurt, that it doesn’t seem to change your daily life at all, but this is not true. Of course, for some women it doesn’t change their daily life, but for more or less most women, it’s a moment they anticipate negatively. It is a time when they wait for it to pass, ‘it’s boring’, even without endometriosis. On the one hand, women will find it difficult to talk about it because it is intimate, and on the other hand, doctors do not have enough knowledge about endometriosis.

Does it hurt? What are the risks?
There is no correlation between the type of endometriosis and the intensity of the perceived pain. Endometriosis does not systematically have pathological consequences. It should be borne in mind that superficial endometriosis can be very painful due to the presence of numerous nerves. However, with endometriosis, there are risks of infertility. We will talk more about hypofertility than infertility, since the infertility resulting from endometriosis is not always definitive. If there is a desire to become pregnant, the person can have surgery to remove the endometriosis while keeping the ovaries. It all depends on the age of the patient, whether she has already shown signs of infertility and the spouse, since this is a surgical procedure that is cumbersome. Endometriosis can also cause pain that can prevent or reduce sexual relations. It can also cause urinary problems, particularly the presence of blood in the urine.

3 types of endometriosis :

  • Superficial (or peritoneal) endometriosis: implantation of endometriotic cells without deep involvement.
  • Ovarian endometriosis: an ovarian endometrioma is a cyst of the ovary characterized by its chocolate-colored liquid content.
  • Deep pelvic endometriosis: lesions penetrate deep under the surface of the peritoneum (the membrane that covers the abdominal wall).

How is it diagnosed?
It is difficult to diagnose endometriosis because of the lack of knowledge of doctors. Many doctors think that it is “normal” to feel pain during the period: abdominal pain and genital bleeding. Diagnosis can be made with an MRI, but access to it in France is problematic due to limited material and therefore getting an appointment becomes very difficult. We therefore rely on a thorough gynecological examination.

ENDOmind: What is it?
An association exists to raise awareness of this disease to as many people as possible. It was created in 2014 by 2 people with endometriosis. More than 40 volunteers are part of this association and form a dynamic team. This team wants to reduce the delay of diagnosis which is always too long, which unfortunately worsens the symptoms and decreases the quality of life of women.

The link of the association is below:
https://www.endomind.org/

Don’t worry, girls! It is by sharing information that endometriosis will be popularized and thus allow for better and faster treatment of women who suffer from it.