A 27-year-old woman has shared photos revealing how endometriosis – a painful and common condition – has affected her body, in a bid to help prove the condition is taken seriously.
Thessy Kouzoukas – who co-owns the fashion brand Sabo Skirt – has been diagnosed with the painful condition, which occurs when tissue behaving like the lining of the womb is found outside of the womb.
According to the NHS website:
[The tissue] can appear in many different places, including the ovaries, fallopian tubes, inside the tummy and in or around the bladder or bowel.
Due to this condition, Kouzoukas suffered a ruptured cyst and has shared the images on her Instagram profile.
One of the images was captioned with the following statement:
This is quite shocking to people. This is me. This is endometriosis. I never intended to share these photos hence why I’m naked, but my God, I can’t believe the amount of DMs I’ve received from girls who have endo too and feel alone.
The left is my stomach three weeks after a ruptured cyst (five weeks ago). The right is me now, on a drug called ‘synarel’ that has stopped all my hormones and sent me into menopause at the age of 27.
The NHS state:
Symptoms of endometriosis can vary. Some women are badly affected, while others might not have any noticeable symptoms.
This is a photo after my last @fitazfk 28 day challenge earlier this year before my health took a turn for the worse. Today is the first day in a long time I’m finally hormone free, I don’t have to swallow any tablets, insert any suppositories, go for any scans or blood tests 🙌🏽 I’m able to commit to a 28 day challenge without worrying about my endo. It’s time to kick some ass and get back to feeling and looking the best I can (Obvi after a weekend of wines, I will start Monday 😂)
Other symptoms can include; pain in your lower tummy or back – which is worse during periods, pain during or after sex, period pains which stops you from doing normal activities, difficulty getting pregnant, pain when peeing or pooing during your period and feeling sick, constipation, diarrhoea, or blood in your urine during your period.
For some women, endometriosis can have a big impact on their life and may sometimes lead to feelings of depression.
Back in July Kouzoukas said she hoped the drug, Synarel, would help her get ‘prepped in the best condition’ for an operation she was going to have in late August.
This is quite shocking to people. This is me. This is endometriosis. I never intended to share these photos hence why I'm naked, but my god I can't believe the amount of DM's I've received from girls who have endo too and feel alone. The left is my stomach 3 weeks after a ruptured cyst (5 weeks ago). The right is me now, on a drug called "synarel" that has stopped all my hormones and sent me into menopause at the age of 27. My upcoming trip to Greece along with this drug is in hopes to get me prepped and in the best condition both physically and mentally for an operation I'm receiving in late August. Endo is no joke. I'll be operated on for 7+ hours and hospitalised for a week. Please, spread the word about endo. And If you know anyone with bad period pain PLEASE tell them to get checked for this. And to my girls with endo.. you're not alone ❤️
Endo is no joke. I’ll be operated on for 7+ hours and hospitalised for a week. Please, spread the word about endo.
And If you know anyone with bad period pain, please tell them to get checked for this and to my girls with endo, you’re not alone.
More than 12,000 people have liked Kouzoukas’ post, (at the time of writing), with many women suffering from the condition sending their love for the 27-year-old.
One user wrote: ‘I feel your pain. I go through this every day. Inspiring you have shown this’, while another added: ‘Thank you so much for posting this. I’ve had endo diagnosed since I was 17 and it’s been such an incredible struggle. Hoping all goes well for you.’
Aly Dilks, a sexual health expert and clinical director at The Women’s Health Clinic, commented on Kouzoukas’ images and said how ‘cysts can be a very common side effect of endometriosis’.
She went on to explain to the Huffington Post:
But they are difficult to identify without medical diagnosis, such as an ultrasound.
A cyst can grow inside the ovary but mimic the symptoms of endometriosis in general e.g. painful periods, pain during sex or bloating.
Around menstruation time certainly we would always advise an anti-inflammatory such as ibuprofen but with prolonged bleeding, bloating or menstrual-type pain at other times of the month, it is always best to get checked out by a health professional.
Dilks continued to explain how cysts can cause pain and inflammation around the reproductive organs, ‘which in turn, can produce pain and menstrual cramps throughout the monthly cycle’.
Occasionally they can grow in size, creating further problems including infertility as they stop our eggs from releasing.
I would always say it’s safer to get it checked out and please don’t be embarrassed by such a common condition.
Chances are you will know someone who has the condition already, as one in 10 women in the UK are affected and 10% worldwide.
So please, if you are worried, always consult a health professional.
Please book an appointment to see your GP if you have any symptoms of endometriosis, especially if they’re having a big impact on your life.
As well as support from your doctor, you may find it helpful to contact a support group, such as Endometriosis UK, for information and advice.