Why is so little known about a disease that affects an estimated 1 in 10 girls and women worldwide? Why do so few women know what is causing their symptoms? Why do so many doctors not know what this disease it or how to treat it? What is endometriosis?
March is Endometriosis Awareness Month so let’s talk about it. Endometriosis (en-doe-me-tree-O-sis) is a systemic, inflammatory disease characterized by the presence of endometrial-like tissue outside of the uterus. It causes the development of endometriomas (chocolate cysts), adhesions (fibrous bands of dense tissue). Endometriosis most commonly involves your ovaries, fallopian tubes, the tissue lining your pelvis and other organs within the pelvis. However, it can be found anywhere in the body and there have even been reported cases of it found in the brain.
Its primary symptom is pain – chronic pelvic pain, painful periods, pain with urination, pain with bowel movements, pain during and after sexual intercourse. Other common symptoms are gastrointestinal including bloating, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting – other organ dysfunction, and fatigue. Another symptom of endometriosis that impacts almost half of the persons living with it is infertility.
Treatment for endometriosis needs to be multidisciplinary and the modalities chosen based on symptoms experienced and their severity and one’s desired outcomes. The gold standard for treatment is excision surgery to surgically remove endometriosis tissue. Other treatment options include pain management, pelvic floor physical therapy, dietary changes, therapy and fertility treatment.
Do not be afraid to ask your doctor questions. It is your right to seek care from health professionals who care and are knowledgeable about this disease or any women’s health issue that you may be dealing with. Always read and keep up with the current research on your illness. Find out what you can do to take care of yourself in ways that honor your body and nourish it mentally, physically and spiritually.
We invite you to join us for this month’s virtual support group meeting on Thursday 30th March 2023 at 7pm, where we will be talking all about endometriosis with Dr. Barker and Ms. Alysia Dagrosa, BCPA. Register to join us at the link below:
Ms. Odelia Thomas