How to live with endometriosis and a colostomy?

Comment vivre avec une endométriose et une colostomie ?

What is endometriosis?

Endometriosis is a gynecological disease that affects 1 in 10 women. This chronic disease is characterized by the presence of endometrial-like tissue (mucous membrane that lines the inside of the uterus) outside the uterus, either on the genitals (uterus, fallopian tubes, ovaries), the digestive system or the urinary system. Endometriosis is a disease that is still poorly understood and takes an average of 7 years to be diagnosed. In some cases, the most severely affected women have to undergo major operations, the insertion of a urinary catheter and/or a colostomy (artificial anus). This disease can be extremely painful and incapacitating on a daily basis, but it is also the leading cause of infertility. Endometriosis therefore often has moral and physical consequences on the lives of women who have to live with this disease: lack of understanding, lack of support, changes to one's body, pain during intercourse, and sometimes even mourning a pregnancy.

Why can endometriosis lead to a colostomy?

Endometriosis is often diagnosed quite late. Long years during which the disease has time to develop in the body, sometimes even to the intestines, the rectum and the colon. People can then feel very violent pain that goes up to the lower back during defecation, whether outside or during the cycle, as well as the presence of blood in the stools. In this case, it is sometimes difficult to calm the pain with a simple medication. Specialists may therefore decide to intervene surgically because the disease has a serious impact on the life of menstruating people. The surgeon will insert a colostomy to allow the patient to heal and avoid possible complications.

But what is a colostomy?

A colostomy is a surgical procedure that consists in connecting the colon to the skin to allow the evacuation of stools via an external collection bag. It is therefore the creation of an artificial anus by surgical connection of the large intestine to the skin. The colostomy can be kept for a period ranging from 3 to 6 months, in some rare cases, some menstruating people find themselves with a colostomy for life.

How to live with a colostomy?

Whether it is for a few months or for life, it takes time for menstruating people to accept this colostomy which is placed on the belly, especially since a small piece of intestine is visible. It can be frightening to touch it at first, and to do its care by yourself, especially when it is necessary to change the pouch. But don't panic! There are several solutions to get used to it and accept your new body. First of all, specialists are there to help women who have to go through this ordeal: they take the time to show the different gestures that have to be done on a daily basis. Everything becomes a question of habit since with a colostomy, it is possible to resume a normal life, to go out, to go to the restaurant, to work, to have a couple life, ... To continue to feel "feminine" and to regain confidence, there are also lingerie specialized for colostomy with lace to hide it, but some panties will also be able to make the deal to feel good in her body! Our menstrual panties are soft and made of organic cotton, non-irritating for your intimate area!

To see the testimony of Raphaëlle, suffering from endometriosis and living with a colostomy, it is by here :

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