Martins Ifijeh and Kingsley Aliamaka
The EndoSurvivors International Foundation (ESIF) has said that not less than 40 per cent of the infertility cases are caused by endometriosis.
Stating this during a walk on endometriosis/community outreach to mark Nurses Week in Lagos, organised by ESIF and the National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives (NANNM), the Founder of ESIF, Mrs. Olivia Nwankudu, said the disease was an incurable, invisible, painful disease that affects one in 10 girls and women of reproductive age.
Endometriosis is a disease of the female reproductive system in which tissues resembling the lining of the uterus (endometrium) are found growing in areas outside the uterus. This distortion in the normal biological process leads to inflammations, severe debilitating pain and much more.
According to Nwankudu, women who suffer endometriosis may experience severe/crippling menstrual cramps, chronic or cyclic abdomino-pelvic pain, painful intercourse, heavy periods, abdominal bloating, pain while urinating, infertility, fatigue, mood swings, and others.
“Despite the prevalence and impact of such a life-altering disease, a great proportion of the public know nothing about endometriosis; hence the urgent need for proactive awareness about endometriosis.
“When it comes to identifying, treating and managing symptoms of endometriosis, education remains key, and such education should be for both healthcare providers, women and the society at large.
“If adolescent girls and women are more aware of the symptoms of endometriosis, they would be more likely to report these symptoms to their doctors. As we raise awareness about it, a key element is to dispel the myths that enshroud the disease,” she said.
During the community outreach, participants from the locality in Ikeja and passers-by received free medical counseling, hepatitis and blood sugar screening and blood pressure checks. Beneficiaries also received free gifts like haematinics, female/male condoms, deworming tablets and night aids.