Bladder & Endometriosis

Diagram of the urinary system in humans

You’ve likely heard that Endometriosis can grow in all sorts of places inside the body.  Well, the bladder and urinary tract are no exception.  Endometriosis implants can grow on or inside the walls of the bladder or along the urethra.

Symptoms

Common symptoms patients may complain about with bladder Endo are frequently needing to pee, pain when the bladder is full, painful urination, and an urgent need to pee.  Some also suffer from blood in their urine when they’re on their cycles (may be hard to distinguish…given the natural course of what a period does…).  This urine-blood may not be perceptible to the naked eye and require a lab test.  And as usual, many EndoWarriors only have these symptoms during their periods; others have them 24/7. It should also be noted that many with bladder Endo don’t present any symptoms.

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Endometriosis & The Heart

Diagram of human heart

I’ve read bits and pieces here and there that Endometriosis can grow on your heart (or the lining of your heart).  And have heard from a friend that she may have it on her heart.  That’s scary business!

Which got my juices flowin’ to find the documented cases of Endometriosis on the heart, how it was excised (if at all), etc.  Here goes ( PS – there’s not a lot out there…)!

Endometriosis is usually found within the pelvic cavity, but has also been known to travel northward and latching onto the liver and diaphragm.  It has also been found on the membranes surrounding the lungs.  Even rarer, it has been found on the brain, in the lymph nodes, and on the eyes.  But today, we focus on the heart…which is also SO INCREDIBLY RARE. Please, I’ll preface it by saying this is so super duper rare.

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Endometriosis and Infertility

fertility goddess figurine

Many women with Endometriosis also suffer from infertility.  Why? Well, that very question spawned today’s research…

It is believed that Endometriosis is present in 24-78% of infertile women (depending on who you ask).  That’s a huge figure! Infertility associated with Endometriosis may occur at any state of the disease (I to IV; mild to severe).  It’s believed that the Stage of Endo may effect the rate of infertility:  people with “mild” Endo have been known to conceive 2-4.5% per month; people with moderate to severe Endo drop to less than 2%.  Normal, fertile couples conceive at a rate of 15-20% per month.  It’s a big difference all across the board.

The medical and scientific community do not have answers as to why Endo may make women infertile; only theories:

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No red meat?

A cow and hamburger with a "no slash" through them

So, I’ve read time and time again that people with Endometriosis should avoid red meat.  I’ve altered my diet to avoid it as much as possible.  And have even written about it in small quantities in previous blogs.

But today I want to delve deeper into why: why no read meat? What does it do?  And I want proof; not just theories!  Let the research begin!

Some studies suggest that frequent consumption of red meat and ham increases the risk of developing Endometriosis. An Italian study published in 2003 found that there may be a link between diet and Endometriosis.  It also found that women who ate red meat seven or more times per week increased their risk of Endometriosis by 80-100%.  Women who ate ham three or more times per week were 80% more likely to have Endometriosis than women who ate less.  In comparison, women who ate vegetables and fish were 40% less likely of having Endometriosis.  This study was actually the combined data of two separate studies conducted on 504 women, and it reviewed their eating habits, lifestyles, and separated the women into two groups: who did or did not have Endometriosis.

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Reader’s Choice : Stats & Percentages

search

In all of the many books and webpages I’ve read since my Endometriosis diagnosis, I’ve read the same stats over and over.  1 in 10 people born with a uterus will develop Endometriosis.  176 million affected worldwide.  But where did those stats come from? When were they last updated? How do they track it?

After scouring the web, I finally found some of the sources of those figures, but nothing that actually gives me a current number of diagnoses around the world today:

But the term “women” is no longer an accurate reflection regarding the statistics. There are non-binary, transgender, others who do not identify as women, and even cis-men who suffer with Endometriosis.

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