Editorial

Endometriosis Awareness Month 2021

condition Endometriosis Awareness Month
Endometriosis Awareness: March is awareness month. Source: ALDE Group (via Flickr)
March is Endometriosis Awareness month, a time to raise awareness of the condition and ensure those who suffer from endometriosis receive a voice.

By Tirion Davies | Editor-in-Chief

March is Endometriosis Awareness Month, a time to raise awareness of Endometriosis and ensure the voices of those with Endometriosis are not forgotten.

Endometriosis affects 1 in 10 people who menstruate, with an estimated 1.5 million people in the UK currently living with the condition, according to Endometriosis UK. Endometriosis is a condition where the cells similar to those in the lining of the womb grow elsewhere in the body. 

Every month as the bodies of those assigned female at birth (AFB) go through hormonal changes, the lining of the womb begins to increase in size, in preparation for a fertilised egg. If pregnancy does not occur, the lining of the uterus will break down and bleed, being released from the body in the form of a period.

In endometriosis, cells similar to those in the lining of the womb react in the same way to menstruation, by breaking down and bleeding. In endometriosis, however, there is no way for the blood to leave the body as the cells are not in the uterus, causing inflammation, pain, and the formation of scar tissue.

 Endometriosis can be incredibly painful for those who suffer from the condition, causing fatigue, difficulty conceiving, and often chronic pain, including outside of the period. The condition, however, is still incredibly hard to diagnose, with a laparoscopy (an operation whereby a camera is inserted in the pelvis through a small cut to be able to visibly see the reproductive organs) being the only definitive way of diagnosis.

 Ultrasound scans, blood tests, and internal examinations are not conclusive ways of diagnosing endometriosis, and often sufferers of the condition take, on average, 7.5 years to receive a diagnosis after their initial doctors’ visit, according to Endometriosis UK. In Wales, the diagnosis has been found for some to take up to 9 years. The condition itself has no firm root.

There is no cure for endometriosis currently. There are treatments available to reduce the severity of symptoms for many patients, however, including hormone therapy, surgery, and pain relief. But for the most part, there is still not enough information or research on the condition to be able to diagnose quickly and effectively.

Endometriosis can be hard to diagnose because many of its symptoms are similar to that of PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome), a hormonal disorder that affects the ovaries. Heavy bleeding and pelvic pain, often two key symptoms in the diagnosis of endometriosis, are shared symptoms with PCOS.

Why is Endometriosis Awareness Month so important? It’s a condition which affects so many, although without a clear understanding or education, many globally could be suffering from endometriosis without being aware that that is the cause of their pain. 

I suppose on a more personal level, it’s important because without Endometriosis Awareness Month I wouldn’t know about the condition.

In March 2019, I experienced intense pain at the bottom of my stomach, which caused me to faint and have a seizure. There was no explanation for the pain, but it meant I was more aware of the pains I would experience in the bottom of my stomach day-to-day.

By October of 2019, I had an appointment with my GP, after I began to realise the pain I was suffering from as well as the intense and irregular periods I was experiencing were not ordinary. I was prescribed anti-inflammatory pain relief, and at the time, my doctor mentioned the possibility of endometriosis.

At the beginning of last year, I received an ultrasound which came back clear of any ovarian cysts, although that didn’t explain the pain I was experiencing. Since the beginning of the lockdown period last year, I’ve continued with my pain relief prescription, and have made appointments to see my GP. The next step is likely a laparoscopy to determine whether or not I have endometriosis.

Endometriosis Awareness Month and the information surrounding it has been an incredibly useful tool for me in researching endometriosis and understanding more about the condition. Whether or not I am diagnosed, I have more of an understanding of what endometriosis is and what the sufferers of the condition experience.

The discourse surrounding reproductive health and periods can be uncomfortable for some, but with conditions like endometriosis affecting around 1 in 10 people in the UK, we need to discuss it.

Ending the stigma surrounding periods and pain which can be hard to diagnose could mean that more people receive the treatment they need. 

For more information on Endometriosis, including symptoms and diagnoses, please visit the NHS website and Endometriosis UK. If you feel you are experiencing any of the symptoms, please contact your GP. 


Mis Mawrth yw Mis Ymwybyddiaeth Endometriosis, cyfnod i godi ymwybyddiaeth am endometriosis a gwneud yn siŵr bod lleisiau’r rhai sy’n dioddef o’r cyflwr yn derbyn ymwybyddiaeth a chymorth.

Mae endometriosis yn effeithio ar 1 ym mhob 10 person sy’n cael misglwyf yn y Deyrnas Unedig, gyda thua 1.5 miliwn pobl yn y Deyrnas Unedig yn byw gyda’r cyflwr, yn ôl Endometriosis UK. Endometriosis yw chyflwr lle bod celloedd tebyg i’r rhai sy’n tyfu yn y groth yn dechrau tyfu yn fannau eraill y corff.

Pob mis, mae’r rhai sydd wedi’i eni gyda’r organau rhyw fenywaidd yn delio gyda newidiadau hormonau, lle bod leinin y groth yn dechrau tyfu ym maint yn barod am wy wedi’i ffrwythloni. Os nad oes beichiogrwydd yn digwydd, bydd leinin y groth yn ymddatod a gwaedu, sy’n cael ei rhyddhau o’r corff yn ffurf misglwyf.

Yn achos endometriosis, mae’r celloedd tebyg i’r rhai yn leinin y groth, yn ymateb yn yr un ffordd i’r misglwyf, gan ymddatod a gwaedu. Er hyn, yn gelloedd endometriosis, sy’n tyfu tu allan i’r groth, nid oes lle iddynt ryddhau, sy’n gallu achosi enyniad (inflamation), poen, a meinwe craith.

Gall endometriosis fod hynod o boenus i’r rhai sy’n delio gyda’r cyflwr, a gall achosi blinder, broblemau beichiogrwydd a phoen tu allan i’r misglwyf. Mae’r cyflwr dal i fod hynod o anodd ei adnabod, a laparoscopy (llawdriniaeth lle bod camera’n cael ei mewnosod i’r pelfis i weld os oes broblemau gyda’r organau rhyw) yw’r unig ffordd glir o adnabod y cyflwr ar hyn o’r bryd.

Nid yw sgan uwchsain, arholiadau mewnol na phrawf gwaed yn ffurf glir o adnabod endometriosis, ac yn aml, mae’n cymryd 7.5 blynedd yn y Deyrnas Unedig i dderbyn diagnosis; i rai yng Nghymru, mae’n gallu cymryd 9 blynedd. Nid oes gan y cyflwr achos clir.

Nid oes iachâd am endometriosis ar hyn o’r bryd. Mae yna ffurf o wella’r symptomau i nifer, ond ar gyfartaledd, nid oes digon o wybodaeth nag ymchwil i allu adnabod y cyflwr yn hawdd na’n gyflym.

Gall endometriosis bod yn anodd ei adnabod, gan fod ganddo nifer o symptomau tebyg i PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome), sy’n effeithio ar yr ofarïau yn benodol. Mae gwaedu trwm a phoen yn y pelfis yn symptom sy’n amlwg i’r ddau gyflwr, ac yn symptom amlwg i’r ddwy.

Ond pam yw Mis Ymwybyddiaeth Endometriosis mor bwysig? Os nad ydym yn dysgu am endometriosis, gall bod cannoedd ledled y byd yn delio gyda’r poen o endometriosis heb ddeall pam, a hefyd derbyn cymorth amdani.

I mi, yn bersonol, mae’n bwysig gan heb Fis Ymwybyddiaeth Endometriosis, ni fyddwn i’n deall am y cyflwr.

Ym mis Mawrth 2019, yn fy mlwyddyn gyntaf, fe wnes i brofi poen erchyll ar waelod fy stumog, wnaeth achosi imi lewygu a chael trawiad. Nid oedd yna reswm ar y pryd am y poen, ond wnaeth yr achos wneud imi’n fwy ymwybodol o’r poen yr oeddwn i’n wynebu o ddydd i ddydd.

Erbyn mis Hydref 2019, ges i apwyntiad gyda’n GP, ar ôl imi sylweddoli nad oedd y poen oeddwn i’n profi, na chwaith y misglwyf hynod o boenus pob mis, yn normal. Wnes. i dderbyn presgripsiwn am ryddhad poen gwrthlidiol, ac ar y cyfnod, wnaeth y doctor sôn am y cyflwr endometriosis.

Ar ddechrau’r flwyddyn ddiwethaf, ges i sgan uwchsain wnaeth dod nôl yn glir rhag codennau ar yr ofari, er nid oedd hynny’n esbonio’r poen yr ydw i dal i wynebu. Ers dechrau’r cyfnod clo, yr wyf wedi parhau gyda’r presgripsiwn, ac wedi ceisio cael apwyntiad gyda’r doctor. Y cam nesaf mae’n bosib yw laparoscopy i ddarganfod os oes gen i endometriosis.

Mae Mis Ymwybyddiaeth Endometriosis a’r wybodaeth o’i gwmpas wedi bod hynod bwysig i mi wrth ddeall yn fwy am y cyflwr. Hyd yn oed os nad ydw i’n derbyn diagnosis am endometriosis, dwi’n ddiolchgar fy mod i’n deall yn fwy am y cyflwr, a’r hyn bod dioddefwyr yn wynebu.

Mae’r drafodaeth am y misglwyf ac iechyd yr organau rhyw yn gallu fod yn anodd i rai, ond wrth fod endometriosis yn effeithio 1 ym mhob 10 person gyda misglwyf yn y DU, mae’n rhaid ein bod yn cael y drafodaeth.

Mae dod i ddiwedd ar y stigma o gwmpas y misglwyf, a chael trafodaeth onest am endometriosis yn gallu helpu i’r rhai sydd angen, derbyn y cymorth yna sydd ar gael iddynt.

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