We must end the silence on Endometriosis, yes we all must speak up to make sure everyone is aware of the condition. This is because there is treatment and there is a way out.
“Time is no longer friendly to women and girls who continue to endure the agony of painful monthly flow caused by the endometriosis even if there be no cure yet “, says Mrs, Tola Ajayi who is the Clinic Manager, Nordica Fertility Centre, Lagos.
Adding his voice to the passionate appeal to end the silence on this gynecological condition which affects almost 10 percent of all Nigerian women and by estimate, 176m women worldwide, Medical Director of Nordica Fertility Centre, Dr. Abayomi Ajayi pointed out, ” it’s been 14 good years the “Endo campaign” has been going on every March and this year we have the theme, “Time to end the Silence” as our strong point to push the issue beyond the limits.
According to Ajayi who for ten years sponsored the campaign through the Endometriosis Support Group and four years ago had, Diamond Bank come up to do more mileage said, “we have continued to talk about this dreaded condition yearly because our medical doctors continue to miss the diagnosis”.
But why do endometriosis suffer misses by trained Gynecologists?
“It’s simply because endometriosis as a condition presents in more ways than one and can easily be misdiagnosed.
For instance says Ajayi, ” An endometriosis patient can present as on suffering from epilepsy even as she continues to have severe pain around the abdomen”.
With that, a General Practitioner or even a Gynea may miss the underlying condition unless he probes beyond the surface presentation of epilepsy.
“Sometimes too, an endometriosis patients could bleed while coughing giving an impression it is Tuberculosis. The diagnosis would however be easily done if this presentation occur around the monthly cycle of the patient”, Ajayi points out.
There is increasing great methods of diagnosing endometriosis in the country ” using the CT Scan, Laparoscopy among other, the important thing is for the patient to present to the right facility and medical diagnostic Laboratory.
In the words of Tola Ajayi, ” Some girls do have bad cases of endometriosis and often would manifest in their behaviours and moods which can swing once the pain comes. Sometimes too, a patient who suffers endometriosis could manifest with swollen abdomen or bleeding around the gum and orifices and life could suddenly become unbearable when least expected.
Endometriosis is the medical condition in which the endometrium, that is the tissue lining of the inner cavity of the womb finds itself in other places other than the womb such as in the pelvis. It is like bleeding into the abdomen and other organs together from the endometrium.
Endometriosis can occur in any part of the body such as in the mouth, ears, orifices among others and bleeding is the manifestation.” It can really be bad as much as lead to infertility if not managed”, says Dr. Ajayi.
Perhaps one area in which Endometriosis can be so bad is in Nutrition of the affected.
“A woman who suffers from endometriosis often finds it difficult to eat choice foods and drinks because she is often constrained by what could trigger cramping or bleeding” said teary former Nigerian Beauty Queen, Chief Adenike Osinowo.
Experts say however, the only consolation most women with Endometriosis have in choice of what to consume is in fruits and veggies.
“Fruits, veggies and whole grains are good for women who suffer Endometriosis”, Consultant Forensic Pathologist, Professor Oladapo Obafunwa said.
Vegetables do have a lot of vitamins, minerals and fiber which can help in lowering the estrogen levels which in women with endometriosis is often very high.
Nutritionists therefore consider, diets rich in high-fiber an excellent strategy for women with endometriosis.
Obafunwa describes the condition as an invisible illness of the female anatomy. He also recommends regular exercises that could help relieve symptoms of the pains in addition to seeking treatment; “sometimes treatment could include surgery” he added.
It’s indeed time to speak out and find treatment because endometriosis is a lifelong condition but with right diagnosis, there is treatment and the patient can indeed have children, concludes Ajayi.