Endometriosis Awareness Month
March is Endometriosis Awareness Month, dedicated to the education of the disease. Endometriosis is a condition in which the tissue lining a woman’s uterus grows outside of the uterus. This causes excruciating pain every month when the body sheds the tissue. In addition to growing on the outside of the uterus, the tissue cells can also attach to the bladder, bowels, and other organs in the body. Women suffering from Endometriosis can also experience infertility and pregnancy loss. One in ten women has endometriosis, which can only be diagnosed through laparoscopic surgery. Despite a large number of women dealing with Endometriosis, there is no cure.
I was diagnosed with the disease at the age of twenty-nine. I started my period at the age of ten and suffered through heavy and painful periods most of my life. Sadly, every gynecologist I saw would tell me there was nothing to do except take over the counter medication and use a heating pad for relief. The worst part of feeling pain wasn’t just the interruption of my daily routine; it was also the depression. I was told my pain was normal by everyone in my life, including my mother. This made me feel as though I was losing my mind. Why can’t I just suck it up? Why do my friends’ periods sound more “normal” than mine? It was a mental boxing match every month between me, myself, and I.
When I finally received my diagnosis, I was relieved and devastated. Finally, someone acknowledged that the pain wasn’t in my head. However, my diagnosis came too late. The scar tissue from my endometriosis blocked both of my fallopian tubes, making it impossible for me to get pregnant without IVF treatment. Unfortunately, this is common in many cases. Treatment varies from person to person as there is no universally acknowledged remedy. Surgery, birth control, and hormone treatments are suggested depending on the severity of the illness.
Thankfully, support for Endometriosis has grown in the last few years. Celebrities have shared their stories in an effort to shed light on the effects of the disease. There are also multiple support groups on social media, as well as a Worldwide Endomarch for women to participate. There is hope for a cure. If you have been diagnosed with Endometriosis, you are not alone. If you believe you may be suffering from Endometriosis, please do not hesitate to express your concerns to your doctor. The earlier sickness is diagnosed, the more effective treatment can be.