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Endometriosis: Agonizing pain and infertility

Endometriosis: Agonizing pain and infertility
Photo by Jonathan Borba- Ask Nigeria

“I lost my navel and everything that makes me a woman,” says survivor.

Forty-three-year-old Patricia Raymond had been living with the pain of endometriosis since she started menstruating at the age of 14. Nobody knew what she was going through, and when they got to know, even her parents could not help her much. She sailed through her secondary school education in pain, having to stay out of school for some days every month and missing out on very important activities that form the happy memories of a child’s formative years. When family and friends learned about her situation, nobody could offer any solutions. Instead, they adduced her illness to wrong, stereotypical, and superstitious reasons. This has made intimacy very difficult for her and she is yet to be married even in her forties.

“I lost everything that made me a woman,” she said. “I have lived with this pain since my first period at 14 years old. The only thing left for me is my faith in God. Nobody understood what I was going through. I wailed, gnashed my teeth, and bled profusely, yet nobody could tell me what my problem was. I suffered and started living on pain relievers and sleep-inducing pills. I take sleeping pills so that I could at least have some rest, but no amount of the pills could stop the pain when it comes. I had to visit all the gynecologists’ that I came in contact with, seeking solutions to my condition.”

Over 176 million women endure the pain of endometriosis.

In 2003, she had her first surgery which caused her to bleed for days. “I was like a skeleton. I went to the military hospital and started with a Human Immuno Virus (HIV) test and others. I went for a CT scan, but they didn’t see anything because water had taken over my body. I had another surgery, which took away my navel. As I speak, I don’t have a navel because of endometriosis. I have decided to tell my story to help others living with this condition and to create awareness on the need for on-job education for medical practitioners, who were also ignorant of the condition.”

Over 176 million women all over the world also experience the same thing as Patricia Raymond. This is why endometriosis has become a topical issue recently to create awareness on the health condition and contribute to the fight against it. Some of its symptoms include pain (especially during menstruation) and irregular menstruation. The pain occurs mostly at the lower abdomen, pelvis, rectum or vagina. Experts have affirmed that a normal menstrual cycle of a woman shouldn’t hinder her from performing her normal tasks, but it should be a cause for concern if it does. According to fertility expert, Dr. Abayomi Ajayi has disclosed that about 30 to 40 per cent of Nigerian women and girls are victims of endometriosis in the country. He also said that a recent study has revealed that about 11 per cent of women and girls with no symptoms are actually living with the disorder without knowing.

Attaches itself to other organs and swells with blood during menstruation.

Endometriosis is the abnormal growth of cells (endometrial cells), which are similar to those that form the inside of the uterus, in a location outside of the uterus. It is a disorder of the tissue lining the uterus that causes it to grow outside the uterine cavity. It attaches itself to other organs and swells with blood during menstruation. And since the blood cannot escape, these tissues cyst, and scar tissue forms or adhesion takes place. In other words, endometriosis is a normal occurrence happening in an abnormal location in the body.

This causes pain and prevents the fallopian tubes from functioning properly. It affects pregnancy directly. In simple words, endometriosis causes excessive pain in the magnitude of what Miss Raymond has been experiencing as well as infertility because the disorder affects pregnancy. “I saw hell and I couldn’t stand on my feet. I screamed, when the pain wouldn’t allow me. In most cases, I couldn’t cry because there was no strength with which to cry. The more I cried, the more pain I felt. It was so painful. It would continue in this manner for the next seven days but the flow was just two to three days,” Miss Raymond said.

Two advocacy groups for endometriosis have been established in Lagos.

Recently, a group of professionals from across the world gathered at the Civic Centre, Lagos to educate women and doctors on this condition. The survivors were also present to share their experiences to educate others as well as give other survivors hope. “I have never met anybody with this condition. If I had, maybe my case wouldn’t be this complicated,” Miss Raymond said. According to experts who attended the event and those who joined via Zoom viewed endometriosis as “an unrecognized burden in Africa,” and one of the reasons the condition is widespread is ignorance about its existence. To check the spread of the disorder, two advocacy groups – Endometriosis Support Group Nigeria (ESGN) and African Endometriosis Awareness and Support Group (AESG) – have been established in Lagos.

Related Links

Mayo Clinic: Website

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27 comments
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Ask Nigeria
20 days ago

Endometriosis: Agonising pain and infertility“I lost my navel and everything that makes me a woman,” says survivor.Express your point of view.

theApr
Member
19 days ago

Sadly, a lot of people would be suffering from this and they would be clueless. Health institutions need to make more awareness about this medical condition.

SarahDiv
Member
19 days ago

Creating this groups will further enlightened the women this endometriosis disorder. A lot of women with endometriosis have subjected themselves to all kinds of thoughts and have tried all kinds of medications due the excruciating pains they are passing through. Awareness is necessary to bring them together to be able to proffer a solution to this disorder.

Iyanu12345ogg
Member
19 days ago

I feel sorry for the patients suffering from endometriosis.
More awareness programs need to be organized and carried out both government and non-governmental organisations about the ailment and preventive measures should be taken!

Last edited 19 days ago by Iyanu12345ogg
Hassan Isa
Member
19 days ago

Wow, such a tragic account; we have a responsibility to educate both women and medical professionals about this illness so this won’t happen to more people.

Chibuzor
Member
19 days ago

This particular illness would have caused a lot of people to be barren, and they won’t know they would be thinking it’s something spiritual. May God help us.

Khalifa001
Member
19 days ago

Endometriosis is a very bad thing with girls having to fight or even remove their naval something that makes them woman is very bad and things like this should be looked at because if it affect people then it bad

Nwachukwu Kingsley
Member
19 days ago

A lot of people are definitely going through this, and some might have died because of a lack of funds to treat it; I hope the government works on our healthcare services and make them cheaper.

Kazeem1
Member
19 days ago

This will affect a lot of people because not a lot of people are well versed on this disease, i feel the health workers should create sensitization programs on it

Adesanyaj72
Member
19 days ago

This might be why we have high rate of infertility amongst women. Some might be a victim of endometriosis and not even be aware, because they’ve not heard of it before. And out of ignorance they take just pain relief and forget to treat the main crisis they have .

Tolaniiii
Member
19 days ago

There are really a whole lot of things that we don’t know. My advice is for ladies to alway speak up when they are in pains. Not only that, they should also visit clinics or hospitals when the situation is getting worse.

Remi1
Member
19 days ago

I feel sad for this woman, she went through a lot, and no one close to her understood what was happening. I believe if people were educated on important issues like this, it won’t something like this won’t happen again.

DimOla
Member
19 days ago

This is a serious pain experience by some women in silently. I have seen a lady who cry like a baby and roll on the flood during are menstrual period. Ignorance has kept must of these women in the dark. A lot of them suffer from this Endometriosis disorder not knowing what to do about it.
The need for awareness creation is very paramount to inform and educate them about it before they take the wrong step.

Yomii
Member
19 days ago

Many people have been moving from one pastor’s house to another to different herbalists because of Endometriosis, and all efforts were in vain. If they were familiar with the disease, they would have met with reputable doctors who could have helped.

Godsewill Ifeanyi
Member
19 days ago

Women are going through a lot; typically, menstruation is usually very painful. Now imagine this illness affecting a lad; that’s double pain. May God help our ladies.

Taiwoo
Member
19 days ago

This issue still boils down to ignorance because many people are going through something like this, but they don’t know the cause. Deep awareness is needed.

Bola12
Member
19 days ago

This story is so sad. This shows that ignorance kills faster than disease. If she had known that the pains weren’t just the regular cramps I’m sure she might have gotten solution before the situation got worse. We really need health workers to keep creating awareness

Christiana
Member
19 days ago

I’m glad people are actually creating awareness about things that are not really known to others. I’m sure victims right now might feel like they have just normal cramps not knowing it’s endometriosis.

Adeolastan
Member
19 days ago

More awareness need to be done by government and non-governmental organisations concerning problems female child go through and people need to speak out concerning the problem they are facing because with this they can easy get help.

Mercy unisex saloon
Member
19 days ago

This is a serious case study for medical professionals. Suffering during menstrual period is not good for any female. The govt should invest heavily into our medical research and teaching hospitals across the country to have a chance of fighting new and old disease that arises in the country. We should be prepared for any medical outbreaks in Nigeria today. Strengthening our health systems is very important.

Ultra0711
Member
19 days ago

I feel sorry for the patients suffering from endometriosis. The must have been through a lot of pain. It is also imperative to create more awareness about this and people should be sensitized about the ailment, and having the measure to counter it in place.

AN-Abiodun
Member
19 days ago

Such pain is what no one should go through.

It’s devastating to hear she went through all this.

Most people are not aware that this disease called endometriosis exists.

Kudos to the two advocacy groups for the intervention.

Tonerol10
Member
19 days ago

What a serious pain. May the lord show her mercy.she passing through a lot. Anybody around this people should show them love

Abusi
Member
19 days ago

I really feel for the victim of endometriosis. The victims must find it very disheartening and distasteful. Living in excruciating pain almost all the days of her life. There should be a way they can be taken care of. It is also important for people to be sensitized about the disease and the danger it poses

AN-Usman
Member
19 days ago

Awareness of this sickness should be create and let people know about it, measure should be put in place by the health sector to find out about this sickness so other people will not pass through all this and in other to save life’s

Haykaylyon26
Member
19 days ago

This is a big issue, thanks to her for telling her story to create awareness about this kind sickness so other woman like her will not suffer or go through this same pain she go through. Research should be done on it so they can know the cause in other to know how to cure it or prevent it so other woman will not go through this issue

jdpumping
Member
19 days ago

Here in Nigeria where citizens cannot afford good medical facility how on Earth will such a person go through this,with the statistics Nigeria government needs to do more by being proactive because so many might be going through this but because of financial constraints decide not going to the hospital and prefer staying at home to take herbs which might cause more damage

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