Endometriosis is a commonly misdiagnosed and misunderstood condition. It just recently came into the public sphere from conversations shared online by celebrities suffering from endometriosis. When, in actuality, endometriosis is widespread — it affects 1 in 10 women of reproductive age in the United States.
Endometriosis is a condition that causes a uterus’ tissue lining to grow outside of it. The displaced uterine tissue adheres to the walls of the surrounding organs like the bladder, intestines, and rectum. The lining can also grow outside of the uterus on fallopian tubes, ovaries, and other locations throughout the abdomen and body. Some symptoms include experiencing pelvic pain before, during, or after menstruation, during urination and defecation, or during sexual intercourse.
So, why are women suffering undiagnosed? The American College of Gynecology defines endometriosis as an "invisible illness." Unfortunately, there has been a lack of awareness due to the normalization of symptoms being shrugged off as severe menstrual pain. Creating awareness around this common pelvic health disorder can shed light on the importance of highlighting symptoms and signs, dispelling misconceptions, and breaking down misinformation about endometriosis.
Statistics show that women suffering from the condition often receive a delayed diagnosis 7 to 10 years after they first begin experiencing symptoms. Endometriosis pain can be debilitating for many and cause long-term issues that affect having a quality life.
Although right now there may not be a cure for endometriosis, there are many treatment options. If you're concerned that someone you know, or you, may have endometriosis, consult your nearest OB/GYN.
Some common symptoms of endometriosis include:
Let’s empower those who may be suffering from endometriosis to share their story. Some ways to do this can include encouraging them to help build an army of resources that can guide those who may be diagnosed or need help in the future.
There are so many ways you can help during Endometriosis Awareness Month! We list our favorite 4 methods below:
It’s imperative to talk about your experiences, your story. Find a trusted OB/GYN or medical provider that can distinguish whether what you’re experiencing is due to severe menstrual cycles or if it’s a condition such as endometriosis. Even more importantly, talking about what you’re experiencing helps providers gain much-needed information for diagnosing endometriosis sooner rather than later.
Additionally, when changing your wardrobe from Winter to Spring, you can wear more yellow or sport a yellow ribbon — the symbol for endometriosis awareness. A simple yellow ribbon or yellow-colored shirt can help you spark conversations anywhere.
If you, or a loved one, might be experiencing symptoms of endometriosis, visit with your nearest OB/GYN or medical provider. They’ll help you know whether or not you have it, which treatment options are best for you and your lifestyle, and how you can go about easing any discomfort.
With 1 in 10 women living with this condition, you likely know someone who has endometriosis — it may even be you. Because it is such a widespread condition, sharing your personal experience can do so much good in helping others understand it and feel confident in seeking treatment. Another thing that can help women with endometriosis is joining a local support group. Meeting other women who are experiencing the same circumstances as you can be healing beyond what we often imagine — SPEAKENDO.com is an excellent resource for finding a group.
By raising awareness of endometriosis, you can help everyone involved. Don’t let this condition create roadblocks and disruptions in your life. Schedule an appointment at our OB/GYN office today.
We give every patient complete care and comfort — our board-certified doctors and nurse practitioners are committed to our patients. As one of the best obstetrics and gynecology practices, we provide exceptional care by maintaining trusted and safe environments for all our patients. For more information, call us at (770) 972-0330 or request an appointment here.
Many of the symptoms related to endometriosis are also present for other pelvic floor disorders. Consult with your OB/GYN about all the concerns you have and schedule a proper evaluation and diagnosis. For more information about Gwinnett OB/GYN, click here.