Last month, Mel filled us in on her crippling experience with endometriosis. So many of you could relate to it that we asked her to tell us more – and pass on the good news about a breakthough in treatment. Mel writes:
Yesterday I posted a photo of my belly looking round and like that of a six-month pregnant lady. It was met with a few comments of “congratulations” because it looked like I was pregnant. And it often feels like what I envisage pregnancy to feel like . . . but there is no baby.
That, my friends, is “endo belly”. How ironic that endometriosis often makes you feel that you are going through the stages of prolonged labour and childbirth but without the reward at the end.
One in 10 women go through this horrendous pain on a daily or monthly basis. The chronic inflammation can often take over our lives and makes it impossible to live a happy and healthy life.
Until now, all we’ve had for this incurable disease is a hot water bottle and some Nurofen or Naprogesic . . . and chocolate. We can’t rule out the importance of chocolate – and yes, one block a day is acceptable for endo sufferers.
But now, in Australia, we have been given the chance to regain our strength and control. Our magic beans have arrived in the form of Visanne. This medication is going to help thousands of women manage and live through their endo, it’s not going to cure endometriosis but it’s going to help control it. The doctors tells us that taking one Visanne tablet everyday leads to the shrinking of the endometrial tissue and reduces associated complaints, such as pelvic pain.
Today I am thinking of all my endo sisters, but none more than Jasmine. She is only 16 and has horrific endometriosis and had her first surgery at 12 years old.
While other teenagers are playing with Barbie dolls and sticking up One Direction posters, Jasmine is lying on the floor in agony. They think Jasmine's endo has spread to her diaphragm, so every breath Jasmine takes she can often feel a sharp stabbing pain which serves as a constant reminder.
We desperately need a cure for endometriosis but until then, all we ask for is more tools to use along the way. Visanne is a big step forward into bettering the lives of endometriosis sufferers. No, it won’t be for everyone and yes, it does have side effects but for the endo sufferers that are in constant pain, this could be a way for them to live the life they deserve.
March is Endometriosis Awareness Month. I’m stage 4 endo and I am proud to be an ambassador for Endometriosis Australia. We need to raise awareness and we need to raise funds for more research so we can find a cure.
On Friday March 6th we are encouraging you to wear yellow to work to show your support. Get your family, friends and work mates involved and get them talking, because I can guarantee you that there are people you know who have someone close to them that are affected by this horrible disease.
Want to know more about Visanne?
What is Visanne?
Visanne is a new medication aimed to reduce the pain associated with endometriosis. It contains a progesterone component which mimics the hormone naturally produced by the female body. Progesterone, along with other hormones such as oestrogen, are necessary for reproduction and regulation of menstrual cycles. The progesterone in Visanne acts to reduce the effects of oestrogen on the uterus lining which in tern can reduce pelvic inflammation and pain associated with endometriosis.
How is the drug taken?
Available via prescription only, the drug needs to be taken once daily, at the same time of day. Women using the treatment are required to keep taking the medication regardless of where they may be in their menstrual cycle and unlike a contraceptive (which Visanne is not) patients are not to cease dosage during their period.
Do you or someone you know suffer from Endometriosis? What are you planning to do during this month of awareness?