How endometriosis is related to trauma in a woman

How endometriosis is related to trauma in a woman
How endometriosis is related to trauma in a woman

A woman suffers from chronic abdominal pain and has already undergone 20 operations. A specialist helps her in a completely different way.

This piece comes from the stern archive and first appeared in December 2023.

A few years ago, a colleague sent a young patient to the clinic so that I could “take a look inside her stomach”. She suffered from endometriosis: cells from the uterine lining spread outside the organ, grow with the monthly cycle and “bleed out”. They can cause inflammation and thus severe pain. I was taken aback when the woman handed me a thick file and told me her story. She was only in her mid-20s, but had already had about 20 abdominal operations. It was clear to me that another operation would only relieve her symptoms for a short time. Every procedure traumatizes – in other words injures – the tissue again, causing adhesions and scarring.

Chronic pain, such as the woman had, is very complex. It leads to a vicious circle of anxious anticipation, increased tension, increased pain, even more anxiety and tension – and even more pain. Scientific studies also show that the severity of endometriosis is independent of the extent of the disease: there are women who have many lesions but hardly any symptoms. And there are women who have severe pain but hardly any lesions are found. In other words: the same finding triggers something different in every person.

Such a young woman, such severe pain, so many operations – I was sure there was more to it. I carefully began to ask the patient about her past. Was there an incident that could be connected to the ongoing symptoms? At first she didn’t understand what I was getting at.

Source: Stern

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