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03/13/2023 “Endometriosis Awareness Month” By Kaylee McGrath

National Endometriosis Awareness Month is observed in March. Endometriosis is an inflammatory condition in which the endometrial tissue, or the inner lining of the uterus or womb, grows outside of it. These growths most commonly occur on the ovaries and Fallopian tubes. This disorder can cause painful periods, discomfort during sex, irregular bleeding, and infertility. The objective during the month of March is to raise awareness about the causes, types, symptoms, and treatment of endometriosis, a debilitating health condition that affects an estimated 176 million women worldwide.

History Of National Endometriosis Awareness Month

· National Endometriosis Awareness Month was an initiation taken by The Endometriosis Association in 1993. This month is observed worldwide through various activities that involve educating people about the condition, fundraising, and marches. Yellow ribbons and brochures are distributed worldwide to honor National Endometriosis Awareness Month.

· Endometriosis is a disorder where the endometrial tissue migrates to areas outside the uterus. The endometrial tissue (inner lining of the uterus) is the same tissue that thickens during the menstrual cycle. When the endometrial tissue sheds it is discharged along with blood causing menstruation. In Endometriosis this process occurs outside the uterus, where the blood has nowhere to go, causing pain in the pelvic region.

· The symptoms include pelvic pain, heavy periods, bleeding between menstruation, and infertility. Endometriosis is often difficult to diagnose because there are many other conditions that can cause these symptoms. In a few cases, endometriosis remains undiagnosed because it is mistaken for other conditions or women do not experience any symptoms at all.

· The causes of endometriosis are uncertain, but several factors such as genetics, retrograde period flow, (where blood flows back into the pelvis instead of out of the body,) immune system disorders, and hormones are possible influencers.

· Treatment ranges from symptom management with pain medication and hormone therapy such as oral contraceptives to surgical treatment. Conservative surgery involves removing the misplaced endometrial tissue while preserving the uterus, though in severe cases a hysterectomy may be performed.

· Endometriosis can have a devastating effect on the quality of life of individuals suffering from this disorder and can have a huge impact on their physical, mental, and social well-being.

Five (5) Fascinating Facts About Endometriosis

1. One of the most common gynecological conditions

a. It is estimated that one in 10 women have endometriosis.

2. Endometriosis is difficult to diagnose

a. The average diagnosis can take up to seven and a half years.

3. Endometriosis and fertility

a. Endometriosis adversely affects women’s reproductive systems.

4. Natural cures

a. Lifestyle changes and natural remedies can help relieve some of the symptoms, such as exercise, a healthy and well-balanced diet.

5. It is a chronic disorder

a. Endometriosis is a long-term condition.

Why National Endometriosis Awareness Month Is Important

· It Spreads Awareness

o Lack of awareness and the normalization of symptoms of menstrual pain contributes to delayed diagnoses for many women. Education and awareness help with the early diagnosis of this disorder.

· It Honors Women Suffering from Endometriosis

o Endometriosis can have a devastating effect on the quality of life of women who suffer from this condition. Having to live with painful physical symptoms have harmful effects on the emotional wellbeing of women too. During this month recognizes the suffering that women endure.

· It Eliminates the Stigma

o National Endometriosis Awareness Month helps to break the stigma surrounding menstruation by educating and creating a platform for the discussion of women’s health.

Source of Information: Various Google Searches

(Updated and revised from a previous published article from 3/28/2022)

Until Next Week, Stay Safe and Well!

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