At Home with Chris Jessen 2018 - 174
GYNAECOLOGICAL PROBLEMS CAN BE DIFFICULT TO DISCUSS
WITH YOUR DOCTOR. BUT THEY'RE EXTREMELY COMMON AND
MOST ARE TREATABLE ONCE CORRECTLY DIAGNOSED...
IT COULD BE: ENDOMETRIOSIS
Around two million women in the UK have endometriosis,
an extremely painful and common condition. The problem
occurs when the cells which normally line your womb that
thicken up over the course of each month and are then
released during your period, are found outside the womb,
such as on your ovaries, fallopian tubes and the bowel.
Despite being in the wrong place, these cells still go
through the monthly thickening-up process, causing pain,
which is typically relieved after your period is over. Each
time this happens, the body undergoes a process of repair
following that inflammation and this can lead to problems
with internal scarring (adhesions). The most common
symptoms include painful periods, pain before your period,
which can be extreme, and pain during intercourse.
Megan, 33, had painful periods for two years before
visiting her GP. 'Each month I would have crippling pains
174 | FEBRUARY 2018
in my lower back. I thought it was normal until I mentioned
it to a friend, who told me to see my GP. Tests confirmed that
I had endometriosis. With the help of my doctor, I now take
medication to manage the pain, which has made a big difference.'
If you have very painful periods, talk to your GP. After an
internal examination and ultrasound scan, a laparoscopy
(keyhole surgery) operation may be recommended, both for the
diagnosis and the treatment of endometriosis. Non-surgical
treatment options include hormonal therapy and painkillers.
Surgery may be the only option for extreme cases.
PAIN, BOWEL AND
IT COULD BE: OVARIAN CYSTS
Cysts on your ovaries sounds scary, but in many cases, an
ovarian cyst is perfectly normal. Pre-menopausal women >
WORDS: KATHARINE KAVANNAGH | PHOTOGRAPHS: GETTY IMAGES