AROUND two million women suffer from endometriosis in the UK and former Love Island contestant Molly-Mae Hague has now revealed she is one of them.
Endometriosis is a chronic condition which occurs when tissue from the lining of the womb is found outside of the womb.
Molly, who is 22, sought help after being left in "excruciating pain" while on her periods.
The TV personality explained that she finally sought help for her issues and that her GP informed her that she has endometriosis.
Posting on her YouTube channel she said: "So I guess that's kind of a good thing because at least I know now what it is.
"It's not a good thing that I have endometriosis, because obviously it can affect fertility and loads of other things, and you can never really cure it."
The condition can be debilitating and women have previously spoken out about their experience with the illness.
Many have been left infertile and another was left wheelchair bound.
WHAT IS ENDOMETRIOSIS?
Speaking to The Sun Dr Philippa Kaye explained that endometriosis is when the lining of the womb type tissue is on the outside of the womb.
"This could be the pelvis, the outside of the uterus, and you can get it anywhere in the body – including the lungs.
"Because it's endometrial tissue it responds to hormones of the menstrual cycle.
"Meaning that when you have your period, this tissue also tries to shed and bleed, leading to inflammation and scarring.
"It can cause recurrent scarring and this is sticky. In time it can stick the lining of the organs together and that's what causes symptoms", she said.
Molly-Mae said she experienced painful periods, but endometriosis is different for every woman and there are a range of symptoms.
Dr Philippa revealed her tips on what to do if you think you have endomentriosis.
She said spotting the symptoms, speaking to your GP, pushing for a diagnosis and getting treatment are all points of focus.
1. SPOT THE SIGNS
Dr Philippa said: "Endometriosis is different for everyone but a classic symptom is painful periods.
"If you have painful periods and you aren't sure when to see your GP the answer is when you can't manage the pain you are experiencing then it's time to get help."
OTHER symptoms are:
- Pain during ovulation
- Pain felt in the pelvis
- Pelvic pain when not having sex
- Bad pain when you have a poo
- Bleeding from the bowel OR IBS type symptoms like diarrhoea and bloating which is worse around your period
- Pain passing urine
- Back pain
- Leg pain
- Fatigue and tiredness
2. SPEAK TO YOUR GP
On average it takes seven and a half years from the onset of symptoms for a woman to be diagnosed with the condition.
Endometriosis UK says that while this has reduced from 11 years, it is still far too long.
When you speak to your doctor it's important to share as much information as possible.
3. PUSH FOR A DIAGNOSIS
Dr Philippa said you need to go back to your GP if you feel as though your concerns aren't being addressed.
She added: "You can always see a different GP or ask the receptionist if there is a doctor who specialises in women's health.
"The only way to truly diagnose endometriosis is with key hole surgery as it often isn't seen on scans but doctors can treat it without surgery".
4. GET TREATMENT
Dr Philippa says there are many different options to treat endometriosis – many of which are available over the counter.
"Hot water bottles, pain relief, hormone treatments are all options."
Dr Philippa also explained that your doctor might suggest you go on the Pill or have a mirena coil fitted.
If that's not enough, then Dr Philippa said there is surgery to remove the endometriosis deposits and scar tissue – but that this can be complex.
"A radical treatment is to have the womb removed – this is irreversible and there are hormonal reversible treatment options available", she added.
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