This week’s VetChat episode is part of our series on supporting and empowering women in veterinary, hosted by Kathryn Bell. Joining Kathryn is Alexandra Taylor, registered Veterinary Nurse and BVNA President. Alexandra also runs her own company ‘The Cat Nurse’ where she offers CPD about feline nursing and behaviour.
 
In this episode, Kathryn and Alexandra discuss the topic of Endometriosis and Adenomyosis. Endometriosis is a long-term condition where tissue similar to the lining of the womb grows in other places, such as the ovaries and fallopian tubes. Adenomyosis occurs when the tissue that normally lines the uterus grows into the muscular wall of the uterus. The displaced tissue continues to act normally — thickening, breaking down and bleeding — during each menstrual cycle.
 
Alexandra was diagnosed around 35 years old and explains her experience with both conditions. They discuss how common it is to be affected, the impacts it may have on mental health such as learning to live with fertility problems, and how Alexandra now hopes to help others who are also struggling with either condition.
 
Check out the preview below, or listen to the episode here.

Kathryn: In today’s podcast we are going to look at two conditions, endometriosis  and adenomyosis which are very common within women. Both of which I have to say I knew very little about before we decided to have this chat. I know Alex, you unfortunately suffer from both of, so would you mind just telling us a little bit about these conditions, please?

Alexandra: Of course, endometriosis and adenomyosis are relatively similar. So endometriosis is when tissues or cells, that would normally be found on the inside of the womb inside of the uterus, deposit elsewhere in the body. So they can literally go anywhere, but the most common place for them to deposit is around the ovaries and uterus or any of the organs in the sort of abdominal cavities. And what happens is, these cells or this tissue acts a bit like the tissue in the womb so that when a woman has her cycle, they flare up. But of course, unlike the tissue in the womb they’ve got nowhere to go. So they just flare up and become really, really painful, really sore, and uncomfortable and could cause a lot of inflammation and scarring in those areas. 

Alexandra Taylor RVN CertSAN ISFM Dip&AdvCertFB

Alexandra: Adenomyosis is kind of the same thing, so you still have those cells, that tissue that is flaring up but instead of being on the outside of the uterus and ovaries or in the abdominal cavity, it’s actually in the myometrium in the muscle of the uterus. That can be super painful because it. flares up lodged within the muscle. So it is kind of similar, but slightly different.

Listen to the episode here.

Resources Mentioned:

Visit the endometriosis UK website here.

The BVNA chronic illness tool kit can be found here.