A LEVENMOUTH woman is trying to raise awareness of endometriosis, a condition which affects one in 10 woman in the UK, during Endometriosis Awareness Week.
Claire Watson from Methil was diagnosed with the condition in May 2012 after ten years of mis-diagnosis and it has changed her life forever.
Because of the time taken to correctly identify her symptoms, she is now undergoing a medically enduced menopause and will have to have a hysterectomy later this year.
All at the age of just 32.
Endometriosis is caused by tissue which normally grows inside the womb growing outside in the pelvic area, leading to inflammation, scarring and adhesions.
It can cause women a great deal of pain, and other symptoms include painful and irregular periods, pain during and after intercourse, bowel problems and fatigue.
Claire says women just don’t know enough about the condition.
“For so many women to be affected, there’s so little out there. In my case, it wasn’t until I found out what I had that I looked in to it. And that’s why I’ve set up the Facebook page, with links to the Endometriosis UK site and other advice.
“Even if I help one girl to get diagnosed quicker, then at least I’ve done something.”
For years, Claire, who has two boys aged eight and 16, was misdiagnosed with IBS, and even depression. But after coming off the Pill, her symptoms quickly progressed.
“The Pill can actually mask the symptoms of endometriosis and is used to help in some cases. After about a year, I started getting much more sore, to the point that walking from the livingroom to the end of the hall was just agony. And even then, I was still told it was IBS. In the end they sent me to a gynacologist and straight away he sent me for a diagnostic laparascopy, which is the only way it can be detected.”
“For me now, the only choice they have is to perform a radical hysterectomy. And this is why I’m trying to get some awareness out there, because as a woman, you know when something is wrong.
“I’m lucky - I had my kids young, but there’s women out there now who can’t have any kids now because of endometriosis.”
To join Claire in raising awareness in Fife, visit her Facebook page at www.facebook.com/endometriosisfife, and for more details about the nationwide campaign, go to www.endometriosis-uk.org.