Endometriosis has a little-known ‘bad cousin’ which impacts even more women
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Endometriosis has a little-known ‘bad cousin’ which impacts even more women.
The chronic disease can cause severe, life-impacting pain during periods, sexual intercourse, bowel movements and can sometimes cause sometimes depression, anxiety, and infertility, according to the World Health Organisation.
It currently affects roughly 190 million people worldwide, of those who are at a reproductive age as women and girls, states the WHO.
While there is no known cure for endometriosis, it seems that its 'bad cousin' adenomyosis, impacts even more women in certain parts of the world.
Adenomyosis and endometriosis are conditions that involve endometrial-like tissue but the key difference between them are where the tissue grows.
With adenomyosis, endometrial-like tissue grows into the muscle of your uterus.
Whereas with endometriosis, endometrial-like tissue grows outside your uterus in places like your ovaries or fallopian tubes, according to Cleveland Clinic.
And it seems that in Australia, adenomyosis is estimated to affect between one-in-five and one-in-three Australian women, according to government health resources.
While endometriosis affects about one-in-nine women.
Hannah Singh, 46, who suffered from adenomyosis, told 9news.com.au: "It was so horrible that I can't explain it.
"I would be in so much pain that I would faint."
Sydney interventional radiologist Eisen Liang, told the publication that there is a 'huge lack of awareness about the disease'.
She says 'it's known as the bad cousin of endometriosis' due to the similar symptoms and factors.
A German study of 143 women with these symptoms found more than four in five women had both adenomyosis and endometriosis.
According to the NHS, the main symptoms of adenomyosis are heavy, painful or irregular periods and pre-menstrual pelvic pain and feelings of heaviness/discomfort in the pelvis.
Less common symptoms include experiencing pain during sexual intercourse and pain related to bowel movements.
Like endometriosis, adenomyosis can be difficult to diagnose because the symptoms and severity can vary between women which makes it even harder to pinpoint.
Again, similar to endometriosis, it is not clear why adenomyosis happens but it is likely that women with the condition have a predisposition due to their genes, immune system and hormones.
If you have been affected by the contents of this article, please find more information and support via Endometriosis UK on their website, or call 0808 808 2227.