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Don't normalise intense period pain - Cape Town mom on battle with endometriosis

6 March 2021 12:43 PM
Tags:
endometriosis
period pain
menstrual health

A Cape Town mother says her endometriosis symptoms were dismissed by three different doctors and she was only diagnosed after 15 years.

Endometriosis is a disorder in which tissue that normally lines the uterus grows outside the uterus, says gynaecologist Dr. Natalia Novikova.

The condition can cause symptoms such as heavy periods, irregular bleeding, severe period pain, pain during or after sex, and it's associated with an increased risk of infertility.

Many endo sufferers have shared similar stories about battling to seek medical treatment while living in pain.

Cape Town mother Louise was only diagnosed with endometriosis at 32 yet she experienced her symptoms from the age of 16.

The condition caused severe damage to her fallopian tubes and ovaries and Louise was forced to undergo in vitro fertilization (IVF) to have her one-year-old daughter.

Louise strongly believes that her infertility issues could have been prevented by an early diagnosis.

"If there had been investigations done in my 20s, we might have been able to get on top of it", she tells Weekend Breakfast host Sara-Jayne King.

Her sister and mother have also struggled with the condition.

Louise says women should demand to be taken seriously by medical professionals when discussing period pain.

It took 15 years plus to get a proper diagnosis.

Louise

For years, I had really heavy periods and intense period pains which I normalised... but the more I began to read into it myself, I realised that maybe it wasn't normal but I couldn't get a doctor to agree with me or take me seriously.

Louise

The issue for me was the description of pain and heavy periods... It's really around the normalisation of period pain. We have periods, we bleed and if there is pain, it's seen as a normal part of it. I think that myth really has to be busted.

Louise

The only option for me to have children was for me to have my eggs taken out which meant that I had to go through IVF to have children... It's a very expensive, emotional, and physical impact that that endometriosis can have on your fertility.

Louise

Talk about menstrual health and don't normalise period pain.

Louise

Listen to the full discussion on Weekend Breakfast with Sara-Jayne King:




6 March 2021 12:43 PM
Tags:
endometriosis
period pain
menstrual health

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