The menstrual pain suffered by Alex Roach, a 24-year-old Briton, was such that it prevented him from doing his daily tasks.
However, doctors diagnosed him as something "that happens to women."
The young woman had to wait seven years and consult numerous doctors to discover why she was suffering so much: she had endometriosis.
It is a disease that causes it The inner layer that covers the uterus develops in other parts of the body, and can lead to infertility.
This British is not the only one that has had problems to be diagnosed. The British health authorities are asking for more awareness among doctors and health professionals to better understand the disorder.
Roach, who works at a law firm in Cardiff, Wales, told the BBC that his problems began when menstruation arrived when he was a student.
And "they were not the typical colic, it was a severe pain," he says.
"Many doctors told me that I was a woman, that was what happened and that it was painful for some."
His family took her to gynecologists, but for years they continued without knowing what caused this tremendous pain He was interfering with his attendance at the school and his activities.
"I never heard of endometriosis during those years," he says.
Finally, a doctor suggested doing a laparoscopy, an exploratory procedure in which a chamber is inserted into the abdomen.
The surgeon was not expert in endometriosis and said he had not found anything. So the girl continued taking hormonal contraceptives that she had prescribed.
When he was in his second year of college he underwent another laparoscopy with a specialist in endometriosis and finally, when he was 20 years old – seven years after his first abdominal pain – he was diagnosed.
"(The news) was quite bittersweet. It was a relief to know that it was not crazy," says Alex.
What is the Endometriosis?
- It is a disorder in which the tissue that covers the uterus (endometrium) develops outside the uterus, for example in the ovaries or fallopian tubes.
- It mainly affects girls and young people of reproductive age. It is less common in women who have had menopause.
- It is a long-term disorder that can have an important impact on daily life, but there are treatments that can help.
- Symptoms include: pain in the lower abdomen or in the back, which is often worse during menstruation, pain when going to the bathroom, nausea, constipation, diarrhea or blood in the urine during menstruation, difficulty in getting pregnant.
- For some women, endometriosis can lead to depression.
Diagnosis and surgery
Roach underwent surgery after his diagnosis.
"Half of the left side of my organs had merged (due to healing and adhesions). I had cysts. I had internal bleeding. There were all kinds of things that I had not anticipated," he says.
They then re-operated by gallstones and extracted the gallbladder due to problems caused by the hormones they were taking.
Despite the diagnosis, five doctors of family They told him there were no underlying physical causes and only when he paid for a scanner to find him he found that he had a huge cyst, which he later extracted.
Roach now believes that there must be a greater understanding of this disease that affects one in 10 women and the impact they cause on their lives.
The young woman does not know if she will need more surgeries in the future and does not know what her chances are of having children.
"There has to be an acknowledgment of what It's not doing enough to identify and diagnose the disease. It is terrible to suffer these pains, but it is even worse to have no idea why they occur, "he says.
"It is the main cause of infertility and if I had been diagnosed before, I would have made a huge difference in my life, and in the lives of many women, as well as avoiding the damage that caused me."
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