National and Worldwide Endometriosis Awareness Month is upon us, so it’s the perfect time to separate some of the lingering myths about this chronic condition from the facts, especially for young women.
Maybe you have not been diagnosed with this condition, but you experience severe and debilitating pain during your menstrual cycle or during intercourse. You may think this is just normal and how all women feel, so your first reaction is to tough it out.
You might be surprised to learn that is not at all normal.
You Are Not Alone
In some cases misery loves company, but certainly not when it comes to Endometriosis. It is estimated that there are up to 176 million women worldwide suffering with Endometriosis either diagnosed or undiagnosed. That equates to 10% of all women worldwide.
What Is Endometriosis
Endometriosis is a chronic condition causing inflammation and pain in the pelvic region. There is no real cure, but pain can be managed through medications, hormone therapy, some minimally invasive procedures, and surgery.
Some refer to the cause of this condition as “out of place” tissue. Normally, during the menstrual cycle the tissue similar to the lining of the uterus disperses out through the vagina. When these cells are trapped in other irregular areas of the pelvic area like the bladder or the ovaries, they can grow and thicken causing irritation, scar tissue and pain during periods and intercourse. This condition can also cause issues with fertility.
A normal pelvic exam can manually check for cysts, lesions, or scars behind the uterus. A trans-vaginal ultrasound is also a great tool for getting an accurate look, as an accurate diagnosis is essential to your overall health.
Old Beliefs Die Hard
In the not too distant past there were unacceptable beliefs and judgments regarding a women’s pain from Endometriosis. Some still exist to this day.
It’s all in your mind.
Doctors and caregivers were skeptical of a women’s complaints which led to delayed diagnosis of the condition and therefore its treatment.
No one that young can have Endometriosis.
It wasn’t until the 1990s that it was discovered two-thirds of women who sought care from their earliest periods indeed had Endometriosis. Teenagers and women in the 20s can have this condition and should not be dismissed.
It’s just normal period pain.
Severe pain during a period is not normal and should not interfere with life’s activities.
A woman’s emotional state causes Endometriosis.
No, the physical pain consistent with this condition causes the stress. Stress does not cause Endometriosis; it’s the result.
If you or anyone you know is experiencing pain that you suspect is not normal, talk to your physician at Birmingham OBGYN about the symptoms. Don’t let old beliefs deprive you of your goals and impact your daily life.