BATTERED television and radio personality Tinopona Katsande has revealed she suffers from endometriosis, a gynaecological condition that causes cells from the uterine lining to flourish outside the uterine cavity. The condition causes pain and infertility.
BY SILENCE CHARUMBIRA
After her controversial sex-tape that leaked to the media last year Tin Tin, as the former Studio 263 actress is affectionately referred to, went into hibernation.
But before her announcement on Facebook yesterday morning, all this should have been viewed as seeking to clean her image.
She posted on the social networking site that she had decided to divulge one of her closely guarded secrets because she believed she “may inspire, motivate and perhaps even save a life in the process”.
Part of the post read: “I have a medical condition called endometriosis. Endometriosis is a gynaecological condition in which cells from the lining of the uterus appear and flourish outside the uterine cavity.
“This means that every time I go on my period, I bleed from both inside and outside my uterus. Now, because it’s not normal to have menstrual blood come out of anywhere else, but through the vaginal canal, the blood that collects outside the uterine cavity creates cysts all over my other organs causing so much pain and discomfort every time I ovulate.”
She said the condition was diagnosed when she was 17 and she had undergone about seven surgical operations on her uterus and ovaries before the condition was eventually identified in California, United States.
“Instead, being the Shona girl I am, the ‘elders’ and doctors attributed the excruciating, demobilising monthly period pains to jeko (dysmenorrhoea) and I was told I would eventually grow out of it; especially after having a baby,” she said.
“Unfortunately, however, I have not grown out of it and medically, I am infertile. I say medically because I believe musiki wangu (my creator) will give me the gift of a child if and when he wants — endometriosis or not.
“In the meantime, however, I feel it is my onus to be an unofficial Endometriosis Awareness Ambassador in Zimbabwe.”
Tin Tin (34) said she has now resorted to high dosages of pain medication every time she ovulates as it provides her with temporal relief.
She said she had taken every traditional medication known for dysmenorrhoea before moving on to Lupron hormonal treatment in her early 20s, but stopped after it began to affect her bones.
“Endometriosis has a significant social and psychological impact. You lose days from school or work every month,” she said.
“You are jeered at and gossiped about for not having children.
“Note that there is no cure for endometriosis, but it can be treated in a variety of ways, including pain medication, hormonal treatments and surgery.”
Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights chairperson Rutendo Bonde said the disease was common but difficult to diagnose.
“Laparoscopic examination of the pelvis requires some advanced equipment,” she said.
She said it is caused by an additional uterine tissue and may result in chronic pelvic pain.
Bonde said there is now medication that can be used to cause the extra uterine tissue to shrink, but said treatment depends on the level at which the condition is detected.
Symptoms of endometriosis-related pain may include: dysmenorrhea, disabling cramps during menses, pain may get worse over time (progressive pain), lower back pains linked to the pelvis, chronic pelvic pain, dyspareunia (painful sex), urinary urgency, frequency, sometimes painful voiding, throbbing, gnawing, and dragging pain to the legs.
Her post ended thus: “So heads up every one! If you have experienced or know anyone who is experiencing any of the above please suggest an endometriosis exam from the gynaecologist.”