The suffering is real | TIME ONLINE

As a doctor, I let myself down, or
Was it my job that failed me? Only at 36, when
I did not get pregnant, even though we had tried it for over a year, turned
I finally went to a specialist and got the diagnosis Endometriosis. In the
two decades ago, I had regular pain in the menstrual period
suffered. The first strong complaints that I can remember, I had
at 16, during an art exam. In the following years was
my period more and more painful.

My mother was amused when I saw her
asked if contractions were comparable to menstrual pain. For me felt against it
the bowel movement during the first days of Menstruation about as
traumatic, as I imagined the birth process, and only through
he allowed himself to survive rhythmic breathing. When I was in my late
When I became sexually active during the teenage years, I started to take the pill
proved to be an advantage. As a medical student, I found out that when I was
the pill-free week skipped and the pill continuously took the pain
could block for a period of three, sometimes four months. Indeed
this is, in addition to anti-inflammatory analgesics, the mainstay of
conventional treatment.

Seema Basil studied medicine in Dundee, Scotland, and worked as a UK doctor for several years before moving to Australia. There she works in a medical institution for Aborigines. After endometriosis treatment, she has had a daughter and twin sons using artificial insemination. She is a guest author from "10 to 8".
© private

There is a lack of sensitivity within the medical profession
for the topic dysmenorrhea, the medical term for menstrual pain.
Women like me for some reason their period as very painful
experience, are treated as special cases with a disproportionately low pain threshold. Often the affected women will be on a slope
imputed to the drama. Periodic pains are not considered legitimate complaints
with which one could bother his doctor.

However, endometriosis is not a psychic one
Impairment. It is a physical disease process characterized by abnormal ones
Settlement of cells similar to those of the endometrium, so the
Uterine lining, in parts of the body in which they should not occur. This can be the ovaries, the uterine muscles, the
Fallopian tubes, the colon, the bladder, the peritoneum, and even more distant
Affect body parts. I remember that this disease in mine
Study time only as anecdote about a patient with endometrial cells
was mentioned in the nose. She always got nosebleeds when she was menstruating.

The main symptoms are menstrual pain, pain during sex, ovulation,
Defecation, urination, lower back pain and in the
Thighs, nausea and lethargy, as well as decreased fertility. With
every period that the patient suffers the disease progresses
resulting in adhesions in the abdomen and the development of scar tissue in the abdomen
Pelvic area leads. The key is to reduce menstruation
to mitigate the effects of endometriosis. This can be done by the
Prescription of hormones like birth control pills, through pregnancy
(although up to 50 percent of women with endometriosis have fertility problems
and, as a definitive solution, by removal of an ovary or uterus.

An estimated 10 percent of the female population suffer
Endometriosis. How many of them experience relationship problems due to
painful intercourse? How many of them suffer mental illness
Pain, because they can not get pregnant naturally? As
Many of them have increased financial burdens due to downtime
at work or because of the cost of her fertility treatments?

A study from 2011 on the effects of endometriosis on the
Quality of life and labor productivity in ten countries appreciated the
average delay in diagnosis to 6.7 years. Other
Sources report up to twelve years. The annual cost of work loss
due to endometriosis, being not only absentee but also the most restricted
Efficiency at work can be considered ranging from 208
US dollars per person in Nigeria up to 23,712 US dollars in Italy. 2016 resulted in one
systematic analysis, the direct and indirect annual
Costs of endometriosis (such as treatment costs and days off) and
Unemployment compared to this disease, amounts between 3,314
US $ per woman in Austria and 15,737 US dollars. In Australia,
where I live, there are not even national guidelines for diagnosis
and dealing with this disease, although an estimated 700,000 women of it
are affected.

A leave of absence during the
Menstruation remains controversial in most countries. In Japan she already became
introduced in the twenties, the corresponding legislation came in 1947
Force. Other Asian countries such as South Korea, Taiwan and Indonesia accept
also a leave of absence during menstruation. Italy failed in 2017
an attempt to introduce a law on leave during menstruation. Under
the few countries or individual organizations that have one
Some do not yet grant leave during menstruation
once paid sick leave, but only a confirmation by the
Personnel management that the employees are missing during their period

I was very lucky that
Fertility expert I consulted, coincidentally
Endometriosis expert was. The diagnosis is without surgery,
a laparoscopy under general anesthesia, difficult to set. There is no
Blood test that tells you that you have this disease, and in most
Cases it is not detectable on ultrasound images. In general
a second surgical procedure is required after the first examination,
to tackle the identified complaints concretely. My specialist thought
that I am a medical doctor for the shots he made of my interior
could have interested. Everything was stuck together in a big mess – the
Ovaries on the uterus, the uterus on the intestine – and my uterus
showed such a pronounced backwards slope that even the most robust
Sperm would have difficulty finding their way without help from this
to find winding path. Only when the gynecologist said the word "serious" to
To describe the extent of my illness, I finally believed that my suffering
was real. That I was not weak or pathetic or my pain

The uterus is the outsider among the organs. Somehow
Liver, kidneys, pancreas seem to have a higher status in the
to have anatomical hierarchy. Ironically, the organ has the most
having sex, in medical professions the status, incredibly unsexy
to be. Yet it is an organ that ranges from the menarche to the menopause
Month after month bothered, self-repairing and doing so with a consistency
waiting for the chance to show its true value. To enlarge, his
To extend muscle fibers and to receive and nourish an embryo
developed to a new life, then modest to its ordinary
Shrink undemanding size and his patient preparations
to start again. How could it be that the disease has endometriosis that is so common
related to the uterus, so far so little attention
was bestowed?

If there had been a message that was facing me
For years, silent suffering could have saved me from the tears and pain that so often befell me
paralyzed, in front of shame, to be hypersensitive, before
Patient consultation with secretly hidden under my clothes
Hot water bottles, she would have said: regular pains, the
Do not affect the quality of a woman's daily life
normal, get help! Fortunately, this is finally easier

Translated from the English by Barbara Wiebking


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