Why Having More Children Is Key To Avoiding Endometriosis

Pregnant woman holds her belly. [Photo: Courtesy]

Experts have revealed that having more children is the only hope for Kenyans to be able to fight Endometriosis, which is the leading cause of infertility.

They argue that the reduced number of children and infrequency in pregnancies in the country had seen an increase in cases of women with endometriosis.

Endometriosis is a health condition where abnormal tissues align themselves in a woman’s reproductive organs, causing them extreme pain, especially during menses, and consequent infertility.

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However, as Yamal Patel, a doctor, said, the tissues will have no room if the woman conceived frequently. He said at least one in 10 women was affected by the condition.

“When you have 14 children in a row like our mothers did in the past, there is no room for menses, hence no endometriosis,” he said.

According to the 2016 World Bank report, Kenya currently has the lowest fertility rate in the region of three children compared to eight some 20 years ago.

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“This is an option they can look into, since we cannot tell women “look, you are 23 and you need to have a baby as early as next year,” he said on Friday at a symposium for the medics held at a Nairobi hotel.

One of the reasons why the experts insist on frequent pregnancies is the procedures of treating endometriosis, which is usually torturous and at times tampers with their ovaries, especially if they land in the hands of a not-so-experienced doctor.

Wanyoike Gichui, a senior lecturer at the University of Nairobi, said the pre-existing theory that endometriosis does not affect African women has some truth to it. One of the arguments is that African women had early marriages hence started bearing children while young.

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“If you have many children, you will either be breastfeeding or pregnant and in such a case endometriosis cannot thrive,” he said.

He noted that during such periods, women had progesterone hormone at high level (which is responsible for birth control hence no menses) while endometriosis is oestrogen-dependent.

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