Lifestyle

The term “endometriosis” has been popping up more or less frequently in social media over the past year or two. “Endometriosis” is related to the word “endometrial” (a women’s health issue)…

But what does an endometrial feed on in the wintertime?

Endometrial are cells (generally) found inside a woman’s uterus. They’re the cells that “create” menstruations. Thus, during the menstrual cycle, the endometrial cells create the blood so familiar to women, menstrual blood.

Now that we know the purpose of the endometrial cells, what is endometriosis?

Endometriosis occurs when the endometrial cells flow towards the outside of the uterus. Think of it as the uterus expanding its territory. A woman’s stomach fills with endometrial cells that really don’t belong there. Thus, the uterus becomes an invader of sorts. Cancer resembles endometriosis in the sense that it too is an invader. Sort of.

The result? A woman’s menstrual blood does not flow outside of her body. Most of the time, endometriosis occurs in the stomach, surrounding organs such as the bladder, the colon, the intestines, the diaphragm, etc. In rare (but documented) cases, endometriosis has been discovered inside the skin, brain and eyes (the unfortunate adolescent bleeds through her eyes during menstruation…) When this happens, the brain is alerted to an injury, given that there is blood inside the stomach (where it does not belong). The brain sends its little soldiers to fix the situation (like scabs when you hurt yourself). The woman then finds herself with adhesions (kind of like cobwebs) everywhere in her stomach. These adhesions cause the internal organs to stick to one another, in a manner of speaking. The uterus thinks it’s SpiderMan #SpiderUterus.

Minion spider man Source : Pixabay

One woman in ten will experience endometriosis. That’s a lot. It causes a terrible amount of pain before, during, and after menstruation, and can cause infertility, fatigue, etc.

We have yet to discover why the uterus thinks it’s SpiderMan. Research on this disorder has recently begun. We should have more information on it within the next few years. A treatment for the disorder does not exist. It can however be slowed down with hormones and/or surgery. Some women try different dietary plans with the purpose of reducing inflammation.

I am often consulted, in my role as sexologist, by women who experience severe pain during sex. Sometimes penetration is impossible due to the pain it causes. I am not a doctor, so I cannot diagnose the disorder. However, talking about it and demystifying the disorder can help enormously. Women can succeed in “controlling” it if they know their cycle well. They can also foresee painful episodes and take certain measures to limit “the amount of room” the episodes take in their lives. Learning how to speak of the problem can help avoid the torturous pain a woman experiences during sex.

Endometriosis can strike any woman, regardless of age. Most women experience the first symptoms during adolescence. It can take up to seven years before a woman is diagnosed with endometriosis. Why seven years? Because women are told that it’s normal to experience pain during menstruation. Pain, is not normal.

Don’t hesitate to discuss the subject among yourselves or with your friends and partners. Talking about it can help shed some light on the subject of endometriosis, and by doing so, more women may be encouraged to seek help!

Jade Cousineau,

Sexologist, B.A. Relationship Help

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Jade Cousineau

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