“When I am well, I enjoy cleaning my house inside and outside and making the house look nice,” shares Aye, a 50-year-old housewife who lives with her husband and two sons in Burma. “I also enjoy planting and growing flowers and planting vegetables near my home.”
Aye came to our medical partner, Burma Border Projects (BBP), seeking treatment for heavy vaginal bleeding and pain. Her symptoms are the result of two conditions affecting the lining of the uterus—endometrial hyperplasia and endometriosis.
With endometrial hyperplasia, the uterine lining grows too thick in response to excess estrogen. Endometriosis is characterized by endometrial tissue growing outside the uterus, usually within the ovaries, bowel, and pelvic lining. Both conditions cause heavy, painful periods that last longer than the typical five to seven days.
“Aye feels very weak and has back pain,” explains BBP. “She menstruates irregularly but for many days. She has lost weight and does not have an appetite.”
To manage her symptoms, Aye takes pain relievers and uses traditional medicine. Both help some, but she does not feel well enough to care for her home or help her husband and older son on their farm.
For $1500, Aye will undergo a total hysterectomy and oophorectomy (surgical removal of the uterus and ovaries). Funding also covers the cost of a seven-day hospital stay and one outpatient appointment post-surgery.
“I hope that in the future,” says Aye, “I can return to working alongside my husband on the farm and earn enough money to spoil my children and make sure that my youngest son is well educated.”