The young Australian and environmentalist Bindi Irwin took advantage of the exposure on Twitter to talk about the endometriosis that accompanied her for a decade. At 24, The singer and dancer gave details of her suffering and the symptoms that affect her quality of life.
Extreme fatigue, unexplained tiredness, and cyclical pain are signs that translate into irritability, low productivity, and absenteeism from work due to the disorder. Women suffering from this disease have to deal with a situation that hinders their plans.
Moreover, endometriosis can be underdiagnosed. Many patients visit doctors and clinics without finding an accurate diagnosis, which is why the appropriate approach is delayed. In fact, Irwin’s journey was not free from these vicissitudes:
These experiences add trauma to the physical fact. There’s a suffering that goes unrecognized and confused feelings appear, to the point of thinking that there is no solution or that the painting is a “natural consequence” of being a woman.
What is Endometriosis?
This disease consists of growth of endometrial tissue outside the uterus. The endometrium is the innermost layer of the uterus, being the part that is shed during menstruation and the one that will receive the fertilized egg in early pregnancy.
Growing out of its natural place, their bleeding cycle occurs in sites abnormal for human anatomy. Thus, there is pain in the regions where this misplaced (ectopic) tissue is located.
This location in the pelvis, outside the uterus, is the cause of the intense discomfort that appears almost once a month in patients. ectopic endometrium it becomes inflamed by hormonal action and even bleedsas if it were really inside the matrix.
The problem is that in the medium term the inflammation also affects the surrounding tissues. That is, the fallopian tubes and ovaries accumulate fluid, swell, try to heal after each menstrual cycle, and produce excess fibrous tissue. This tissue causes adhesions within the pelvis and leads to infertility for the woman.
What are the symptoms of Bindi Irwin’s endometriosis?
Irwin said fatigue, pain and nausea were the most disabling symptoms for her. Generally these manifestations are repeated every month, in accordance with the menstrual cycle and the stimulation of female hormones.
THE most frequent symptoms of endometriosis are the following:
- Dysmenorrhea: It is the pain that appears with menstruation, but excessively. To the point of letting the woman rest.
- dyspareunia: this is the pain that makes its appearance when you have sex.
- Dysuria: some women report discomfort when urinating. Especially those who have developed fibrous adhesions around the bladder.
- Fatigue: During menstruation, women with endometriosis may feel a extreme tiredness which forces them to rest. But it can also happen that there is imperceptible bleeding due to poorly positioned endometrial tissue. This would lead to anemia and, with it, fatigue.
- Changes in bowel movement: the inflammation characteristic of the disorder and the proximity of the ectopic tissue to the digestive system favor the alteration of the evacuation rhythms. There are patients with diarrhea and others with chronic constipation. In turn, nausea and vomiting are not uncommon.
Bindi Irwin and her surgery to cure endometriosis
In a instagram posts, Bindi Irwin recently had surgery for her endometriosis, in a hospital bed. This completed her Twitter appearance to tell of her misadventures with her disorder for 10 years.
In her story, the young Australian says so doctors removed many pockets of ectopic endometrial tissue. And they also surprised themselves by asking him how he had lived all this time with such a scattering of lesions within his body.
THE surgery for endometriosis is an option that should be discussed with the treating physician and based on the patient’s age and fertility prospects. When there is no desire to conceive in the future and the symptoms are very intense, it is possible to remove a large part of the contents of the pelvis, including the affected ovaries.
However, in young patients who wish to become pregnant a more conservative and punctual surgery is practiced. Foci of ectopic tissue are looked for and removed, one by one. Thus, the uterus and ovaries are preserved so that there is a possibility of fertilization and pregnancy.
Bindi Irwin had this surgery to treat her endometriosis. In your account of events you mention the removal of 37 wounds. One of them was a “chocolate cyst” (endometrioma), which is a larger formation filled with dark brown liquid.
After the surgery, treatment is usually not finished. Doctors usually indicate the continuation of the drug approach, almost always based on hormonal therapies. Conventional contraceptives are prescribed, as well as gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists and antagonists and progestogens.
A young woman’s message of hope
Many young women live with endometriosis, just like Bindi Irwin, unknowingly or waiting for an accurate diagnosis. The Australian activist’s message is one of hope for those who suffer.
There are ways to access new and effective treatments. But for this you need to have more information about the condition and reach out to the healthcare professionals interested in providing a solution to their patients.
We know more and more about endometriosis. However, there is still a long way to go to achieve equal opportunities for patients.
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