I know many of us are working from home or transitioning into a similar alternative given the ongoing pandemic, but let’s not forget that it’s still March; women’s month and world endometriosis month. I figured I might as well tell you about Bisi, a friend I met in University who always dreaded her period. A typical period week for her included Ibruprofen, buckets of tears, fainting and sleepless nights. Yes, you read well, actual fainting!!
I was always so worried about her, trying my best to imagine how bad her cramps could get. Some of her other friends had said she was acting the pain in order to gain attention. They argued that we all got cramps, “why isn’t anyone else fainting from it?” Imagine? God save us from stressful friends o.
Anyway, one day, I decided to take her to the school clinic. It just didn’t seem normal to me. You should have seen or even heard her cry. Her eyes were bloodshot, her face in anguish as she held onto her stomach area. I couldn’t believe anyone would do that for attention. After meeting with the doctor in school, I was pulled aside to keep an eye on her as she just might be seeking attention.
Four years after graduation, I guess a job I really enjoyed. One random day at work, we were introduced to a new employee. Guess who it was? Yes, Bisi, the very one. I was so glad to see her. We became office best friends. I mean, it was inevitable. I however noticed that Bisi took 7 days off every month and I started hearing talks of her poor performance through the grapevine.
So, I called her up to find out what the problem was. It was her period yet again. This is beyond attention-seeking. This is a thing that had to be sorted out. So we visited a Gynecologist who finally diagnosed the pain to be Endometriosis. 1 in 10 women have this and it’s one of the most common diseases faced by Gynecologists.
So, you know the lining around the uterus that sheds every month? Imagine that lining growing on other areas asides the uterus and still shedding every month. The blood has nowhere to go when it sheds, so, it causes inflammation and scarring which could, in turn, lead to infertility. This inflammation can That’s the pain people with Endometriosis go through during their periods.
We often underrate Gynecologists in Nigeria. The fact is, once you start your monthly cycle, you should start having appointments with your Gynecologist. Not just to catch endometriosis but to also nip other issues or complications in the bud. Really, you should get a Gynecologist. There’s no need to go through what Bisi went through.
Finally, we absolutely need to stop discarding women’s pain. it’s such a shame when the dismissal comes from fellow women who should know better and show empathy. The next time you hear another woman complain of reproductive issue or general pain, just remember that the fact it was easy for you doesn’t make it the same way for others. We need to do better!