A young mum has bravely opened up about her endometriosis and the agony it causes when she has a flare up.
Ria Robbins from East Worthing says it has turned her from a ‘happy, bubbly’ woman into someone she no longer recognises and it takes control of her life when it pleases.
Here is Ria’s story in her own words:
“I was diagnosed with endometriosis in October 2015 so just over two years ago, however I have suffered with the condition since my symptoms started in December 2013.
Endometriosis affects my life hugely. I get what’s known as endo flare ups and when these happen I can only describe it as chronic pelvic pain to the point that my reproductive organs feel like they are being squeezed and ripped apart bit by bit, whilst my stomach swells and bloats.
Whilst this is going on I’ll have the most crippling lower back pain, almost like my back is going to snap the pain is that bad. On my bad days I struggle with the simplest of things like getting out of bed and walking to the toilet and as time goes on my bad days are starting to out number the good days.
Putting make up on, doing my hair and looking OK completely goes out the window because I’ll either be bed bound or stuck on the sofa in chronic pain.
The pains last anywhere from a few hours to a couple of days.
I have literally just finished a two-day flare up and feel extremely exhausted and have such a low mood.
My periods are absolutely horrendous, they are heavy and beyond painful and I’ll spend most of the five to nine days that I bleed for curled over in pain from morning to night.
I have to cancel plans because the pains that I experience can and does happen whenever it wants to, there’s no stopping it.
On my bad days I feel like a failure to everyone around me because I physically cannot do anything apart from scream and cry myself to sleep.
I have gone from being that young, happy, bubbly, full of life female that I once was to not even recognising myself anymore, this condition has sucked the life out of me and now takes control of my life as and when it pleases.
I have even reached the stage now where even having intercourse with my partner hurts.
This condition affects one in ten women, yet so many go undiagnosed or have difficulty getting the proper care and treatment from health care professionals, just like myself.
The pain is beyond worse then giving birth, yet all I get told to take is paracetamol and ibuprofen when paracetamol alone can’t even get rid of a headache.
I am currently about to start to battle again seeking the GP for advice and hopefully with my fingers crossed I’m wanting a referral back to the gynaecologist for my second lot of surgery, not because I want it but because I know and feel that I desperately need it because surgery is the only way of getting endometriosis out.”
Endometriosis is a condition where cells like the ones in the lining of the uterus are found elsewhere in the body, and each month react like those in the womb, building up and then breaking down and bleeding.
Unlike the cells in the womb that leave the body as a period, this blood has no way to escape, causing debilitating and painful periods.
Around 1.5 million women in the UK are currently living with the condition.
Endometriosis Awareness Week is took place from March 3 to 11 and a Worldwide EndoMarch takes place on Saturday, March 24.
More information on the condition here: https://www.endometriosis-uk.org/