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Harvard Health Blog
Treating the pain of endometriosis
- Author: Kelly Bilodeau,
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Hi. Thank you for your interest and general information about endometriosis. Getting the word out about endometriosis is super important.
As a person who both suffers from and has studied endometriosis independently (after going through pre-med at UTEP, etc), there are some important developments that get overlooked.
1. Endometriosis can only be diagnosed through a laparoscopy.
2. The only effective treatment is to remove the lesions and treat any associated adhesions.
3. Endometriosis is a mutagenic lesion unrelated to uterine tissue. Most women who have mutagenic endometriosis lesions have a normal uterine lining.
4. Endometriosis lesions develop their own blood supply and (pain) nerve connections, which is why the disorder is so painful, even with few lesions.
5. Endometriosis is a serious disorder that can cause disabling pain, bowel adhesions, pelvic floor disorder and infertility.
6. Endometriosis is associated with a higher risk for reproductive cancers, especially ovarian cancer through endometriomas.
I was diagnosed with endometriosis when I was 20 because of the disabling pain, including migraines, and anemia related to heavy bleeding. The doctors did “extensive work” on my intestines. Same thing when I was 27 (2013), plus an excision of endometriosis on an ovary. The next year, I had a dermatoid cyst removed. And two years later, in 2016, when I was 30, I had a hysterectomy because endometriosis had impacted my uterus. I had a cancer scare because of a suspected endometrioma recently. I need another surgery due to bowel adhesions and other complications.
Nothing cures this disease and nothing adequately treats it. I have so many friends who have lost their careers, lives and family to this disease. And many more who have lost hope.
The experts call it an “enigma,” but this is an inheritable disease that is caused by a genetic, mutagenic disorder that results in abnormal, benign tumors growing in the abdomen. The medical community has been familiar with endometriosis for over 200 years, and it is a travesty that so little has been done to research this disabling “female” disorder.
So I mean it when I say I really appreciate your article. Any publicity that is generally truthful about endometriosis is a step forward in gaining recognition by the medical community.
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