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But that it was a health condition experienced only by women — and is linked to menstruation, in particular — has made it more of an enigma than it perhaps could be. Microscopic discovery of endometriosis is most often attributed to Czech scientist Karl von Rokitansky in , though this is disputed and previous more rudimentary microscopic discoveries have also been recorded.

Records of endometriosis-like symptoms, meanwhile, date back to antiquity.


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The historic underestimation and misunderstanding of endometriosis continues to inform modern medicine. The cause of endometriosis is not known. There is no cure.

It often takes up to around a decade to get diagnosed , and the only means of definitive diagnosis is a form of keyhole surgery known as laparoscopy. I spoke to three women now diagnosed with endometriosis, all in their 20s and 30s. Along the way, all three had been misdiagnosed with other conditions and had their symptoms dismissed or underestimated. Bodenham, for example, collapsed multiple times before her pain was taken seriously.

Caitlin Conyers, 24, who runs the blog My Endometriosis Diary , began to suspect she might have the condition through her own research, but this was dismissed by her physicians. Making matters more complicated, physicians also sometimes fail to find evidence of lesions on initial scans, particularly if the lesions are superficial.

Stop Endometriosis and Pelvic Pain

Endometriosis forums are littered with stories of false negative ultrasound scans. A lack of awareness on the patient side can delay diagnosis too. Menstrual taboos still persist and two of the women I spoke to reported being told, whether by family or through sexual education, that periods might be painful or uncomfortable.

What they never understood was how painful or not a normal period should be. Endometriosis charities and campaigners around the world are working to raise awareness, and their efforts seem to hav helped. In the UK, government advisory body the National Institute for Health And Care Excellent Nice released guidelines in with the aim of standardising diagnosis and treatment pathways for patients.

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Lone Hummelshoj, chief executive of the World Endometriosis Society, adds that the lack of specialist centres is another worldwide problem. Even after a diagnosis is reached, symptom management is by no means straightforward —and misinformation persists here too. Some medical practitioners still tell patients pregnancy is an effective treatment.

Given that the disease can impact fertility of patients , this seems at the very least insensitive. Meanwhile, writer and performer Lena Dunham raised the profile of hysterectomy as a treatment for endometriosis by writing about her choice to undergo the surgery in Vogue US earlier this year. But its use as a treatment for endometriosis is controversial. As the condition is characterised by lesions outside of the uterus not inside of it, its removal is by no means a cure and endometriosis can recur afterwards.

Because the development of endometriosis lesions is controlled by oestrogen, hormonal treatments are often one of the first prescribed. These can help manage the condition, but do not cure it, and can have their own side effects.

15 Things No One Tells You About Endometriosis | The Healthy

A study by researchers in Denmark found that women using hormonal contraceptives were more likely to seek treatment for depression. Watch our video on eight women who experienced serious side effects from the contraceptive pill. Another potential treatment is medical menopause. However, it is not a long-term option because it can affect bone density, particularly in young people, and, although rare, one of the potential side effects cited by the brand Zoladex is accidental full menopause.

Cook told me there is a lack of informed consent around the use of this treatment. Add to Cart.

Stop endometriosis and pelvic pain : what every woman and her doctor need to know

Overview Stop Endometriosis and Pelvic Pain provides extensive information about the realities and the myths of endometriosis and pelvic pain. Cook explains why so many patients are misunderstood and misdiagnosed, why most endometriosis surgery is done so poorly, the principles and correct techniques for effective endometriosis surgery, and how to find the best doctors and healthcare providers.


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This book embraces a women's perspective and provides much-needed support for women who have suffered from the pain of endometriosis. He also explains his comprehensive and successful program for treating endometriosis. Author Bio Andrew S.