Written by Ijeoma UKAZU

Painful menstruation could be endometriosis - Expert

A consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist at Nordica Fertility Centre Lagos, Dr. Abayomi Ajayi, has said that painful menstruation in women could be linked to a disorder called endometriosis.

Dr. Ajayi, who is also the managing director of the fertility centre that specialises in in-vitro fertilisation, IVF, said its aim is designed at increasing the consciousness and helping women who are affected with the disease often dismissed as ‘women’s troubles’ to seek medical attention.

Stating this while briefing journalists in Lagos to mark this year's activities for Endometriosis Support Group Nigeria, ESGN, Ajayi said the group is geared towards fighting the challenge in Nigeria and West Africa.

He pointed out that though menstrual pain is associated with some discomfort but does not have to cause so much pain as endometriosis affects five to ten percent of women within the reproductive age (15 to 44 years) globally, adding that lack of research and funding, means sufferers can live in severe pain, unable to work or socialize.

Explaining further, the doctor said the disorder occurs when tissue similar to the lining of the womb is found elsewhere which most commonly are on the ovaries, in the recto-vaginal septum, bladder and bowel, adding that the tissue behaves like the lining of the womb, bleeding every month, and can cause severe and chronic pain, and its known to affect women in the prime of their lives.

According to him, the hidden toll and extraordinary neglect of this disease affects millions of women around the globe, causing many to suffer a life of pain and debilitation which sometimes leads to infertility.

Ajayi revealed that endometriosis is not a lifestyle disease and cannot be gotten later in life, stressing that teens, young women are the worst hit with 50 percent of these people struggling with sex because it is too painful and 20 percent have less chances of child bearing.

He however said that this year’s theme, ‘End the Silence’ is to create awareness of the disease, stating that, "any woman of reproductive age who is free of this trauma should count herself especially lucky and continue to count her blessings."

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