Soroptimist Club of Saint-Martin: All about endometriosis

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The Soroptimist club of Saint-Martin knows that its friends and supporters waited as every year in March for the traditional ride on the occasion of International Women's Day. Post Irma conditions were not favorable.

We are focusing our action this year on WOMEN and their HEALTH. Our goal is to make known and recognize a disease that affects some women from puberty to menopause (it's long!) Responsible for the infertility of 30% of them: ENDOMETRIOSIS.

They suffer from it but do not talk about it. However, Christiane LADEON, Saint-Martin at heart, dared to talk about it in her book "Endometriosis: from Shadow to Light" published on 13/10/2017.

She agreed to answer to our questions:

1-What is endometriosis?

Endometriosis is the presence of uterine lining outside the uterine cavity.

It is a globally misunderstood gynecological disease which essentially leads to pain and infertility problems. It is classified in stage: Stage 1, minimal endometriosis in stage 4, severe endometriosis.

2-At what age are we concerned?

I would say that we are concerned from the first period. Especially if they are very painful, do not hesitate to see a doctor very early on who can make the diagnosis, which can be long.

3-What are its symptoms?

The main symptoms are painful periods, pelvic pain, pain during intercourse, intestinal and urinary disorders and problems and especially extreme fatigue. But from one woman to another, the pains can be felt differently.

4-Is it easy to diagnose endometriosis?

No. In my case, doctors took a long time to take seriously my distress, my vulnerability in the face of pain and discomfort. Out of ignorance, they mostly thought it was psychological. The disease was diagnosed after 20 years of suffering.

5-How do we treat this disease?

Hormone therapy is the most used to prevent the development of endometriosis which occurs during menstruation.

6-Can we cure this disease?

To date, there is no treatment that can cure endometriosis.

It remains an orphan disease which can be stopped only by hysterectomy. In my case, I had the uterus removed so more endometriosis but it will remain inked in my flesh like a deep scar and has left irreversible consequences.

7-What is it due to?

Very honestly, I don't know. The doctors themselves do not know. Many hypotheses have been put forward but nothing confirmed. An American team of researchers has demonstrated that endometriosis is a form of cancer.

8-What is the impact on your daily life?

The damage caused by this disease is such that I live from day to day. I kept irreversible sequelae at the gastric, intestinal and bladder levels. In addition to the excruciating pain that accompanies me, I am very diminished physically, I get exhausted quickly. This also leads to moments of depression that I manage to erase thanks to my journey in faith. Discovering the unconditional love that God has for me every day is a source of joy that allows me to overcome all difficulties and always move forward.

9-What advances and what hopes?

I remain convinced that one day researchers will find a treatment that will cure this disease once and for all. In the meantime, you have to fight to survive and do prevention, talk to your doctor about it at the first pain, because painful periods are never normal.

10Why did you choose to talk about your experience in your book?

By the time I decided to write My Story, I was so bad about myself and I was in a lot of pain. I had trouble getting the words out of my mouth. So I started writing and to let everyone know what it is, this terrible thing that kills slowly and slyly, I did not hesitate to publish it. My goal was mainly to help women who are suffering from this disease so as not to make the mistakes I made out of ignorance and also by having had blind faith in medicine. What I experienced during the illness and also after the illness and that I still live, no woman should experience.

Despite my limited physical resources, I wanted to make myself useful to other women who dare not talk about it. Life is good and there are so many things to do. In all humility!

 

Thanks to Christiane Ladéon for this interview. We will see you again on March 24, World Day for Endometriosis.

Louise CARTER President

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