Endometriosis, sometimes referred to as Endo, is a condition where tissue that resides in the Uterus lining grows outside the Uterus. It is associated with symptoms such as Pelvic Pain, Nausea and sometimes Infertility.
Despite it being one of the most common gynecologic diseases, Professionals have expressed that there is little information out there on its occurrence; consequently, it is hard to diagnose. Contributing to misinformation and delays in diagnosis.
I want to address this here because it is Endometriosis awareness month. It is crucial to debunk the many misconceptions about the condition. Talking about Endo will empower those affected by it. After all, Health and Quality of life are Human rights, Right?
It is time to get comfortable talking about Menstrual Health. Extremely painful periods are not typical. The more we talk about it, the sooner an endo patient can receive the treatment and support she deserves.
Today I would like us to bust common endometriosis myths and reveal Facts in honour of Endometriosis Awareness Month. And let you in on how you can contribute to raising awareness about Endometriosis.
Myth: Severe Menstrual Pain / Heavy Flow is Normal
Fact: If pain interferes with your day-to-day life, please seek help and ask to be investigated to determine the cause of your pain.
Women with endometriosis sometimes assume that their symptoms are a normal part of menstruation, and when they seek assistance, it is sometimes dismissed as overreacting to menstrual symptoms.
Myth: Symptoms are always present in women with endometriosis.
Fact: There are many symptoms of Endometriosis, and sometimes NONE. However, truthfully women often experience symptoms differently. Some may not exhibit any symptoms at all.
Some women with severe endometriosis may experience no pain, while others with a milder form of the disease may have severe pain or other symptoms. It is advisable, if possible, to do a full check to rule out anything.
Myth: Endometriosis equals Infertility.
Fact: Infertility is as much as is cited as one of the 3 major causes of infertility. It is still possible to give birth.
According to the American Society of Reproductive Medicine. Endo can be found in 24 – 50% of women who experience Infertility. Approximately 40–50% of patients with endo report Infertility; depending on your perspective, this is good news. The truth of this myth is It is not yet clearly understood how Endo affects fertility.
Myth: Endometriosis only affects the pelvic region.
Facts: The complex nature of Endo means that, yes, the most commonly affected Area is the pelvic region. According to a study on how Endo cells spread to other organs of the body, the truth is in the definition: It can occur and affect any region of your body. Not to freak anyone out, but there are cases of the endometrial cells being found in the Lungs, Brain and skin.
Endo has no cure and affects women of all ages at their reproductive stages of life. It was found that Women with endometriosis experienced an average delay of 7 years from symptom onset until they were finally diagnosed.
We need to raise awareness to ensure prevention and early Diagnosis, Especially in low to middle-income countries where Early detection and treatment are limited.
I believe that this requires attention and awareness, just as much as any other chronic disease. We all have a role to play, irrespective of gender.
For me, the next move after writing this article is to schedule a check-up and consequently share this article with my family and friends on all social media platforms. I suggest you do so too.