The purpose of National Endometriosis Awareness Month is to raise awareness about a disease that affects an estimated 176 million women around the world. Statistics show that endometriosis affects 5 million women in the United States and is most common amongst women in their 30s and 40s. This disease can have a vital effect on the quality of life due to its painful symptoms, as well as have huge personal and societal cost.
Endometriosis, sometimes called “endo,” happens when the lining of the uterus, or womb, grows outside of the uterus. It can grow on the ovaries, behind the uterus or on the bowels or bladder. This “misplaced” tissue can cause pain, infertility, and very heavy periods. The pain usually occurs in the abdomen, lower back or pelvic areas. Endometriosis growths bleed in the same way the lining inside of your uterus does every month, similar to what happens during your menstrual period. This can cause swelling and pain because the tissue grows and bleeds in an area where it cannot easily exit the body. Not all women have symptoms, which is why it is important to receive an annual pap smear.
The cause of endometriosis is unknown, however, pain medications and hormones can help. Severe cases may call for surgery, and there are also treatments to improve fertility in women that have been diagnosed with endometriosis. Many women think that having endometriosis is the end all be all for carrying a child. In some cases this is not true. I personally know many women who were still able to carry their child full term. As we bring awareness to Endometriosis let’s also bring awareness to the idea of hope.
Join St. Hope Foundation as we recognize National Endometriosis during the month of March. For more information about Endometriosis visit the following sites: