Im In Pain. Could It Be Endometriosis?
If you’ve been experiencing pain in your pelvis for a while, you might be wondering; could it be endometriosis?
What Is Endometriosis?
Endometriosis is a chronic condition in which tissues usually found in the uterus grow outside of your uterus. Because they act like normal tissues would, they bleed with each period but become trapped in your body. This can lead to scar tissues and adhesions that cause pain. Symptoms vary from person to person but might include: heavy periods, back pain, pain in your stomach or pelvis that gets worse during your period, especially when peeing or pooing, severe period pain that can stop you from doing daily activities and pain during sex or after. Your periods can also make you sick and you might struggle to get pregnant.
How Does Endometriosis Affect Mental Health?
Endometriosis can subject you to chronic pain which is associated with mental health disorders such as anxiety or depression. If you live in constant pain, you might be too exhausted to do anything beyond work and eventually even be unable to work. You might stop socialising with friends and neglect your hobbies. Unfortunately, another factor that contributes to poor mental wellbeing is the lack of available help. Even though surveys show that over 50% of sufferers experience suicidal thoughts, it takes on average 7.5 years to receive the diagnosis.  Women are often told that ‘the pain is just in their heads’ and their symptoms are dismissed by health professionals which is both extremely invalidating and isolating. A lot of women with endometriosis might eventually give up and feel like there’s no light at the end of the tunnel.
How Can I Support Myself While Waiting To Be Diagnosed?
There’s no cure for endometriosis but you can learn how to manage your symptoms.
While being in pain can lead to anxiety and depression both these conditions can in turn amplify the pain you’re experiencing. To break away from this vicious cycle, you can try guided meditation dedicated to chronic pain management; it will relieve your stress and help you associate yourself with pain less. You can also try yoga that will teach you how to relax and stay in the present. Additionally, make sure your diet is healthy. Avoid red meat and food that contains gluten, trans fat and FODMAPS as they have been shown to trigger endometriosis. 
If you’re overwhelmed by your symptoms and feel like you can’t cope, don’t be afraid to reach out for help. Contact My Family Psychologist for a confidential chat.