By Sola Ogundipe

THE Endometriosis Support Group Nigeria, ESGN, during its 2017 Physicians’Roundtable, is bringing together medical experts from Nigeria, the United States of America and other countries to deliberate on finding lasting solution to the menace of endometriosis on the health and welfare of women of reproductive age in the country and elsewhere.

The activity, which is billed to hold at the Oriental Hotel in Lagos on March 16, is part of this year’s endometriosis march (EndoMarch) events, and is essentially geared towards exploring new and effective ways of tackling endometriosis in adolescents.

Speaking during a media conference to announce the 2017 EndoMarch, Spokesperson for ESGN and Medical Director/CEO, Nordica Fertility Centre, Lagos, Abuja & Asaba, Dr. Abayomi Ajayi, described endometriosis as a common disorder in women of reproductive age.

According to Ajayi, the cause of endometriosis is unknown, but it is recognised as the  growth of cells similar to those that form the inside of the uterus (endometrial cells), but in a location outside of the uterus. “Endometrial cells are the same cells that are shed each month during menstruation. When a woman with the disease has her monthly period, the blood and tissue shed from the endometrial growth has no way of leaving the body, hence resulting in internal bleeding, inflammation that may result in pain, adhesions and bowel problems.”

Ajayi said endometriosis also causes damage and blockage to the fallopian tube by impeding the journey of the eggs down the fallopian tube to the uterus, hence leading to infertility. “Endometriosis is currently diagnosed through a surgery called Laparoscopy. The commonest symptom is pain.

“There is  painful intercourse, painful menstruation, abdominal and back pain, ectopic pregnancies, pelvic ulcer and infertility.

Endometriosis  is estimated to affect over one million women with most cases diagnosed in women aged around 25-35 years, although it has been reported in girls as young as 11 years of age. It runs in families and delaying pregnancy until an older age is also believed to increase the risk of developing endometriosis.

This year’s endometriosis awareness campaign starts off on March 2, 2017 with the EndoMarch in Abuja, followed by the Lagos march on March 11. In between will be a school’s project in Asaba on March 8 designed to coincide with the International Women’s Day.

An essay competition on the topic “Endometriosis in Adolescents” will also be held for students of Queens College, Yaba; Vivian Fowler Girls College for Girls: Karaoke High School; Lagoon College for Girls and Chrisland College, all in Lagos.

The highpoint of the activities will be the award of prizes to winners of the Nordica Media Merit Award, NMMA, during the Yellow Gala Night taking  place March 19 at the Civic Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos. Deserving journalists will be awarded plaques and cash prizes for outstanding reportage of  fertility treatment and allied issues.

Among dignitaries expected at the event are the Minister of Health, Professor Issac Adewole and business entrepreneur, Mrs Nike Akande.

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