We all know that period pain can be difficult to manage and can hamper an individual's daily activities. But did you know that severe period pain can be a symptom of a condition called endometriosis?
what is endometriosis?
Every menstrual cycle, a layer of tissues called the endometrial lining develop around your uterus, in preparation for a potential pregnancy. Endometriosis (also referred to as endo) is a medical condition where these tissues grow not only around your uterus, but also around other organs, where they are not supposed to grow.
The result of these abnormal tissue growths around the bladder, ovaries and other organs causes inflammation and severe pain.
Endometriosis affects 1 in 10 women in their reproductive years. It is a chronic illness and unfortunately, no cure has been found so far.
what causes endometriosis and how does it get diagnosed?
Endometriosis occurs due to a hormonal imbalance in the body, but we currently don’t know the root-cause of the problem.
Most cases of endometriosis go misdiagnosed for several years, as the symptoms can be hard to pin-down.
Sometimes endometriosis can get diagnosed through laparoscopy - which is an intrusive surgical procedure where the endometriosis lesions are removed from the abdomen through incisions.
The treatment for endometriosis is limited to life-long hormonal therapies, such as taking oral contraceptives and inserting hormonal IUDs. While these can negate some of the symptoms of endometriosis, they also come with side effects, such as irregular bleeding, nausea, bloating, mood swings etc.
what are the symptoms of endometriosis?
The symptoms can differ from person to person and can depend on which part of the body the tissue is growing.
Endo can have various symptoms - both physically and emotionally.
The most common symptom of endometriosis is extreme pelvic pain during your period. This pain can be extremely severe for some people and may require hospitalisation.
You may experience period-like pain on other days outside of your period - for instance while peeing, emptying your bowels or during sex.
Mood swings and anxiety are also common symptoms of endometriosis which can directly affect the daily activities of patients.
can you use a menstrual cup if you have endometriosis?
You may be wondering if you can use a menstrual cup with endometriosis.
The answer is yes, absolutely!
At Asan we strongly stand for ‘your body, your choice’: The symptoms of endometriosis vary for every individual so using a menstrual cup with endometriosis depends entirely on you.
If you are someone who finds it easy to insert the cup to manage your heavy period flow, go for it! But if you cannot insert anything inside because of the pain caused by endometriosis, that is completely fine too.
Endometriosis can be both mentally and physically exhausting, so anything that makes your life easier should be prioritised. It is all about understanding your body and making an informed choice of what best works for you.
For menstrual cup guidelines whilst managing endometriosis, we suggest speaking to your doctor and seeking recommendations based on your condition. They should be able to guide you through the process of switching to a menstrual cup.
is endometriosis caused by using a menstrual cup?
As menstrual cups are an insertable period product you may be wondering, can menstrual cups cause endometriosis? The answer is no.
A menstrual cup is a medical device that is used to manage your periods and does not cause endometriosis. It is inserted inside the vagina and sits at the base of your vaginal canal where it collects your period flow.
It is important to use a high quality menstrual cup. The Asan cup is made from Class 6 medical grade silicone and is one of the safest ways of managing your period.
Just remember that you need to empty the cup every 12 hours and wash it with clean water before reinserting it. You can learn more about how to use a menstrual cup in our detailed blog.
are menstrual cups good for endometriosis? does it make your condition better?
Endometriosis can make your period days one of the most difficult times of the month. The inflammation, bloating and debilitating pain, plus the side effects of medications to reduce the symptoms, can all add up to cause a lot of discomfort.
When you are already in a situation where doing daily chores of life seems like a challenge, the thought of trying a menstrual cup can sound intimidating.
However there are many women battling endometriosis who are using a menstrual cup comfortably and it makes managing their period easier.
You can wear your Asan cup for up to 12 hours so it can make your life a little easier when your pain is so severe that standing up to go to the bathroom to constantly change your pad is challenging.
A cup cannot heal or change your endometriosis condition but it can definitely bring some comfort as it reduces the struggle you may have while using sanitary pads and tampons.
Read this blog about a personal experience of an Asan cup user with endometriosis.
can using a menstrual cup make endometriosis worse?
No, not at all.
The use of a menstrual cup cannot worsen your endometriosis. The only thing that matters is how your body feels while you are using it.
In fact, the Asan cup is a much better and safer option over plastic-filled pads and tampons.
what is retrograde menstruation and how is it linked?
Retrograde menstruation can also be one of the symptoms of endometriosis.
When you menstruate, the uterus sheds the endometrium lining which flows out of your cervix, into your vaginal canal and then comes out of your vagina.
In retrograde menstruation, the reverse of this process happens - which means the lining flows back from your uterus towards your fallopian tubes, instead of exiting out of the vagina.
can menstrual cups cause retrograde menstruation?
No, menstrual cups cannot cause retrograde menstruation. Retrograde menstruation involves flow from your uterus upwards towards your fallopian tubes.
As menstrual cups sit in the vaginal canal (i.e. below the uterus), there is no physical mechanism by which they can be linked to retrograde menstruation.
Read this blog about retrograde menstruation and menstrual cups to learn more.
how can you treat endometriosis?
Unfortunately there is no cure for endometriosis and the management of this condition is different for every individual as it depends on your symptoms.
Depending on how much your endo condition has developed, a doctor can recommend an excision surgery to remove your endo tissues from your body.
Alternatively, you can also seek hormonal therapies - such as IUD’s or oral contraceptives.
So are you ready to try the best menstrual cup for endometriosis? Buy your Asan cup here now.