March is Endometriosis Awareness Month, and this year it’s unfortunately been overshadowed by a global pandemic. But while we’re all hiding out from the coronavirus, we may as well take a few minutes to educate ourselves.
Q: First things first; what is endometriosis?
A: Endometriosis is a chronic condition in which tissue similar to the lining of the uterus is found in other areas of the body.
Q: What is the most common symptom of endometriosis?
A: Pain is the most common symptom of endometriosis, but not everyone with endo experiences pain. Pain can be mild or debilitating, and the level of pain doesn’t necessarily reflect the stage or severity of the disease. Other common symptoms include heavy bleeding, digestive issues, infertility, inflammation and fatigue.
Q: On average, how long does it take to get a diagnosis?
A: It takes an average of seven or more years to reach a diagnosis, but many women wait much longer for answers. A lack of awareness and the difficulty of diagnosing endo could be contributing factors.
Q: True or false: the only cure for endometriosis is surgery.
A: False. There is no cure for endometriosis. Surgery is the only way to confirm an endo diagnosis and is a common treatment. But it doesn’t cure endometriosis.
Q: How common is endometriosis?
A: It’s estimated that at least 11% of women and girls have endometriosis. Despite how common it is, there continues to be a lack of awareness, delay in diagnosis and many myths surrounding the disease.
Q: True or false: the only place endometriosis has NOT been found is the spleen.
A: True. Endometriosis can be found anywhere in the body, including the brain, diaphragm and lungs. The spleen is the only organ endometriosis has not been shown to effect.
To learn more about endometriosis and to find out how you can help raise awareness, visit https://www.endofound.org/.