We’re sure you’ve heard of endometriosis, after all, 10% of New Zealand’s uterine population live with it, but did you know that a lot of those people don’t even know they have it? Somewhat frustratingly, a lot of the signs of endometriosis - cramps, heavy periods, painful periods, and digestive pain - are similar to those of PMS or IBS meaning they can be easily ignored or written off as part of our monthly cycle.
But, there are two things about this that don’t sit well with us. One, our periods shouldn’t be painful or debilitating and two, we want everyone to apply the same FBI-levels of investigation to their bodies as they do to a new flame’s ex flame; so you always know what’s good for you, what’s weird for you, and what needs some love from you.
Endometriosis is when uterine lining tissue is found growing outside of the uterus like the bowel, the stomach, the lungs, or the ovaries. It’s an inflammatory condition that impacts our hormones which, in turn, impact other areas of health. Managing those signs isn’t a cure, but can make life a little easier.
This is a non-exhaustive list of some of the most common signs of endometriosis:
- Painful periods (dysmenorrhea)
- Pelvic pain and cramping before and during your period
- Lower back and abdominal pain.
- Pain with intercourse: during or after sex
- Pain with bowel movements or urination (most likely during your period)
- Excessive bleeding: heavy menstrual periods or bleeding between periods
- Infertility. Sometimes, endometriosis is first diagnosed in those seeking treatment for infertility.
- Broader PMS: Fatigue, diarrhoea, constipation, bloating or nausea, especially during menstrual periods.
A lot of those might sound familiar because in the venn diagram of endo symptoms and period ones, it’s almost a perfect circle.
So let’s work out what actions we can take that help us because there’s no need for pain, mystery bleeding, and illness no matter what the cause.
- First things first, if you think you may have endo, visit a doctor. Endometriosis is notoriously hard to diagnose and given the similarities between signs of endo and just…being a person with a uterus, communicating the extent of those signs to your doctor can be an uphill battle. Trust your gut (or your womb) and if things feel beyond normal PMS, insist on tests.
- Try The Eve Test Complete. The test with no wrong answers, it measures levels of 18 different sex hormones (like oestrogen, progesterone, and testosterone) and gives you a deep dive into how these may be impacting how you are feeling day to day and includes recommendations on how to support hormone balance. If it shows that some levels are out of balance, you will be given recommendations to bring hormones like oestrogen and progesterone to healthy levels that can see huge improvements in sleep, energy, weight, and mood.
- Try Eve BFF Period Pal. Made with irregular periods, weight fluctuations, acne, bloating, and sleep issues in mind, Period Pal is a great first step to mellow your monthlies as it balances the production of oestrogen and progesterone. Endo or not, getting our hormones ebbing and flowing in the right amounts can make a world of difference every week of the month.