Hear ye, hear ye, March is National Endometriosis Awareness Month. This disease affects many women, often without them knowing about it so spreading awareness is crucial. Awareness should be promoted on a yearlong basis, but let’s take time now to concentrate on this issue.
Signs and Symptoms
- Painful periods
- Pain with intercourse
- Pain with bowel movements or urination
- Excessive menstrual bleeding
- Never giving birth
- Genetics- as in close female relative has endometriosis
- Any condition that prevents menstrual blood from leaving the body normally
- History of pelvic infection
- Abnormalities in the uterus
- Testing includes pelvic exams, ultrasounds, and laparoscopy
The exact cause of endometriosis is not known but there have been linkages to certain occurrences such as scar tissue on the reproductive organs.
- Most women suffer symptoms for almost a full 10 years before being diagnosed.
- About 176 million women worldwide suffer from endometriosis
- The average women is 27 at the time of diagnosis
- Endometriosis is 1 of the top 3 causes of infertility
Awareness Starts With You!
As mentioned before, most women go almost a whole decade before they are diagnosed. Often because they think that they’re symptoms are normal, or that they have a particularly bad cycle. Your doctor may even tell you that your symptoms are normal. However, there are many routes that doctors can take to mediate the symptoms as these symptoms can cause lifelong pain, suffering, and damage.
Finally, Be Your Own Advocate! You are in control of your own health and you influence the health of those around you. Being educated about endometriosis and its effects can make you and those around you more aware of potential health issues.
Endometriosis Foundation of America. (n.d.). Endometriosis. Retrieved from http://www.endofound.org/endometriosis
Mayo Clinic. (2013). Definition. Retrieved from http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/endometriosis/DS00289
Mayo Clinic. (2013). Symptoms. Retrieved from http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/endometriosis/DS00289/DSECTION=symptoms
Mayo Clinic. (2013). Causes. Retrieved from
Mayo Clinic. (2013). Risk factors. Retrieved from
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Rahmatu Kassimu is a second year Ph.D student at Texas Woman's University in the Health Studies program. Her health interests include maternal and child health, minority health, and global health.