The menstrual pain suffered by a British woman at the age of 24, Alex Roach, was such that it prevented him from carrying out his daily tasks.
However, doctors diagnosed it as "what happens to women."
The young woman had to wait seven years and consult with numerous doctors to find out why she was suffering so much: she had endometriosis.
It is a disease that causes the inner layer covering the uterus develops in other parts of the body, and this can lead to infertility.
This British is not the only one who had problems with the diagnosis. British health authorities are calling for increased awareness of doctors and healthcare providers to better understand the disorder.
Roach, who works at a law firm in Cardiff, Wales, told the BBC that her problems began when she had her menstrual periods when she was a student.
And “it was not a typical colic, it was a lot of pain,” he says.
"Many doctors told me that I was a woman, that it happened and that for some it was painful."
Her family took her to gynecologists, but for many years they still didn’t know what caused the tremendous pain prevented his attendance at school and his activities,
“I never heard of endometriosis in those years,” he says.
Finally, the doctor suggested laparoscopy, a research procedure in which a camera is inserted into the abdomen.
The surgeon was not an expert in endometriosis and said he did not find anything. Therefore, the young woman continued to take hormonal contraceptives, which she was prescribed.
When she was in her second year of college, she underwent another laparoscopy with a specialist in endometriosis, and finally, when she was 20 years old — seven years after her first abdominal pain — they diagnosed her.
“(The news) was rather bitter, it was a relief to learn that I was not crazy,” says Alex.
- It is a disorder in which the tissue lining the uterus (endometrium) develops outside the uterus, for example, in the ovaries or fallopian tubes.
- This mainly concerns girls and young women of reproductive age. It is less common in women who survive menopause.
- This is a long-term disorder that can have a serious impact on everyday life, but there are treatments that can help.
- Symptoms include: pain in the lower abdomen or back, which often worsens during menstruation, pain when getting into the bathroom, nausea, constipation, diarrhea or blood in the urine during menstruation, difficulty in getting pregnant.
- For some women, endometriosis can lead to depression.
Diagnosis and Surgery
After her diagnosis, Roach had surgery.
“Half of the left side of my organs merged (because of scars and adhesions), I had cysts, I had internal bleeding, all kinds of things happened, which I did not expect,” he says.
She later managed to handle stones in her gallbladder, and her gallbladder was removed due to problems caused by the hormones she was taking.
Despite the diagnosis five doctors families they told him that there are no underlying physical reasons and only when he paid for the scanner, he discovered that he had a huge cyst, which was subsequently removed.
Roach now believes that there should be a deeper understanding of this disease, which affects one in 10 women and the impact it has on their lives.
A young woman does not know whether she will need more operations in the future and does not know what her chances are of having children.
"It is necessary to recognize that not enough done for to identify and diagnose the disease“It’s terrible to suffer from these pains, but it’s even worse not to know why they occur,” he says.
"This is the main cause of infertility, and if I had been diagnosed earlier, I would have made a huge difference in my life and in the lives of many women, besides avoiding the damage it caused me."
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