Endometriosis: treatments? Symptoms? Impact on my body?

Endometriosis: treatments? Symptoms? Impact on my body?

What is endometriosis? 

Endometriosis is a gynaecological disease characterized by the growth of tissue similar to the lining of the uterus (called endometrium) outside the uterus outside the uterus. This tissue follows the menstrual cycle and causes pain during and outside  menstruation. This disease affects about 10% of women. 

What are the symptoms of endometriosis?

Pain is the most common symptom (about 50 to 90% of cases). This pain can take different forms: pain during menstruation, during sexual intercourse, pelvic, lumbar or abdominal pain, urinary or digestive problems.

This pain does not usually go away with a simple analgesic. Indeed, the pain can be disabling for a few days, and in some cases, this pain can be permanent, requiring the use of strong painkillers. 

Nevertheless, this pain is different for each person. It can have various consequences : inability to lead a personal, family, professional or intimate life, to make a physical effort, and can in some cases lead to vomiting.  

What are the treatments for endometriosis? 

There are no definitive treatments for endometriosis at this time. Nevertheless, it is possible to act on the pain endured while being medically monitored to prevent it from worsening. Also, endometriosis generally diminishes and disappears after  menopause. 

Endometriosis is a hormone-dependent disease. Thus, depriving the body of the hormone that feeds the endometrial cells: estrogen, is how we have found to put the disease in stand by, but as we said, this is not a definitive treatment. Today, specialists agree that the basic treatment consists of preventing the onset of menstruation: this is called amenorrhea (absence of menstruation). Why stop menstruation?  Because during the period endometriosis lesions will bleed simultaneously and create micro-hemorrhages in the belly.Thus, giving a continuous pill or inserting an IUD that releases hormones allows some women to stop suffering and to live normally. 

In some cases, this is not enough and,  artificial menopause should be started.

When medical treatment is not enough, patients may be offered surgery to remove the endometrium lesions. Still, this solution is only provided in the most severe disease cases. 

The choice of treatment is always the result of a dialogue between patient and physician. 

Whatever the treatment, it is individualized and adapted to each patient because each endometriosis is unique!

How can I live with endometriosis?

It is necessary to be followed by health professionals to establish a diagnosis and a treatment adapted to each person. 

In some cases, medical treatment can be complemented with complementary therapies such as sophrology, yoga, spa treatments, acupuncture, osteopathy or physical therapy. We advise you to discuss this with your doctor.

Using period panties could also help you manage irregular periods and very heavy flows.

What are we doing to fight against endometriosis at Elia ?

For Elia, the fight against endometriosis is at the heart of our DNA. This is the reason why we donate 10% of our income to associations that fight against endometriosis. In addition, we have co-founded, in France, a Foundation which acts in favor of research against endometriosis.

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