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Endometriosis not a death sentence

 Endometriosis not a death sentence

Endometriosis is ” a disorder in which tissue similar to the tissue that lines the uterus grows outside the uterus in places where it doesn’t belong. In the words of a Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Professor Rosemary Ogu, Endometriosis “is the condition where you find the endometrial tissues (the normal lining of the womb) in a place where they are not supposed to be. Giving more clarity on the condition, she said these tissues (endometrial tissues) can grow in the ovary, rectum, umbilicus, chest etc. It causes severe pain for women who have it during their periodic cycles. “It’s a pain that women in their reproductive age go through ‘that is for those who have it’.

Records available states that in Nigeria only, about 100,000 women are admitted annually for conditions related to endometriosis, yet just a little is known about the disease. This was confirmed by Prof Ogu, as she says the impact of endometriosis on women who have it is “unquantifiable.” Although she said” Endometriosis is not likely to cause any mortality but it negatively impinges on the quality of life” until they seek medical help which is available. Some symptoms highlighted to be associated with endometriosis are painful periods, heavy bleeding or pain during sex or when having a bowel movement or urinating. Having trouble getting pregnant is also common with endometriosis.

It was established also that a condition as endometriosis which affects 30-40% of women in reproductive age is not known to most people and even some of the women who suffer it do not know about it until they come across an information as this. Moreso, the available treatment options, hence the campaign of support group. Prof. Ogu made known that endometriosis support group exist and for years of existence, the group had earmarked the month of march to launch campaign for sensitization on the condition and how to access treatment. So far, she said the support group, targets health care workers, to give information on options of treatment, raise awareness to the general public and celebrate the Endo month (March). This year’s (2023) celebration was marked March 25th.

The professor of obstetrics and gynecology who is also the head of department Obstetrics and Gynecology, UPTH, states that there are whole range of treatment options from medication to surgical intervention, and that treatment is individualistic as it pertains to the peculiarity of the woman who presents to the hospital. She used the interview session she granted to a correspondent of the English and Africa service of Voice of America, to state that endometriosis “is not a death sentence and not a sentence to confine you to your bed” so she called on young women who may be experiencing such conditions during their cyclic period to come to the hospital for proper diagnosis and treatment.

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The University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital treats well over 400,000 out-patients per annum, over 10,000 in-patients per annum and well over 3000 surgeries per annum.

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