27-year-old in ‘menopause’ shares her ‘shocking’ reality
THESE pictures show the shocking effect endometriosis can have on a woman's body.
Thessy Kouzoukas, 27, shared the images on her Instagram to prove the agonising condition is "no joke."
The co-owner of fashion brand Sabo Skirt said she has been "sent into menopause" after treatment stopped the production of female sex hormones in her body.
Endometriosis is a chronic condition which occurs when tissue which behaves like the lining of the womb is found outside of the womb - in areas of the body including the ovaries, fallopian tubes, the abdomen and the bladder.
Thessy shared an update on her condition after suffering a ruptured ovarian cyst.
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 ❤️
"This is quite shocking to people. This is endometriosis," she wrote.
"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."
Thessy said she never intended to share the photos online but wanted to raise awareness of her condition and let them know they are not alone.
She is now preparing for a trip to Greece for an operation to treat the endometriosis, which she says will take more than seven hours.
Often surgery to treat endometriosis involves removing the scar tissue and abnormal womb lining from the abdomen.
Thessy urged anyone who is worried they may have the condition to see their doctor.
"Endo is no joke," she said. "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."
Synarel is a drug that is used to treat endometriosis.
It is a gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist - which means it works by reducing the production of oestrogen in body.
Oestrogen encourages endometriosis tissue to grow and shed.
By limiting the production of oestrogen the amount of endometriosis tissue produced by the body may be reduced.
But for Thessy that comes at the cost of an early menopause.
A woman is considered to be in menopause when they have not had a menstrual cycle for 12 months - meaning she is coming to the end of her reproductive years.
Menopause is triggered when the female body no longer produces sex hormones, including oestrogen.
Thessy post has been liked more than 8,000 times and received hundreds of comments, many from other girls suffering with endometriosis.
User Laura_arual26 commented: "Thank you so much for posting this.
"I've had endo diagnosed since I was 17 and it's been such an incredible struggle."
And user ecclinton wrote: "I know this all too well.
"Have suffered with endo for over 20 years.
"I had to get a large section of my bowel removed last year due to it - after already having two other surgeries previously.
Doing the @fitazfk 28 day challenge in preparation for Greece. I feel so lucky to be going to Greece this year, with my rupturing cysts I was too scared to travel. It's been a rough couple of months with a lot of uncertainty with my endo, a failed IVF cycle, 2 ruptured cysts but with healthy eating, exercising, a hormone suppressing drug and a bit of hope I have convinced myself I'll be fine to travel 👊🏽 yolo bitches!
"Was also in hospital for a week. I will be thinking of you and wishing you such a speedy and healthy recovery. It's such an awful disease."
The exact cause of endometriosis isn't known, but it's thought it could be hereditary or due to environmental factors - namely the presence of dioxins in the environment.
Endometriosis can sometimes cause damage to the fallopian tubes or ovaries, leading to fertility problems.
Other complications can include painful ovarian cysts and adhesions - areas of tissue which can fuse organs together.
Symptoms of endometriosis can vary, but the most common include painful or heavy periods, pain during and following sex, bleeding between periods, pain in the lower abdomen and difficulty conceiving.
Endometriosis can also cause sufferers to be constantly tired, and experience discomfort when using the toilet.
This article originally appeared on The Sun.