March is National Endometriosis Awareness Month, and our fertility team is here for it. Endometriosis is a female inflammatory condition where the endometrial tissue (inner lining of the uterus) grows outside of your uterus or womb. Did you know…as many as 1 in 10 women struggle with endometriosis, which often leads to infertility?
Symptoms of Endometriosis
- Heavy, painful periods
- Irregular bleeding
- Dyspareunia (painful sex)
- Relentless pelvic pain
- Abdominal pain
As this endometrial tissue sheds, it is expelled along with blood that causes menstruation. Since it is outside the uterus, the blood has nowhere to go, leaving behind pain in the pelvic area.
One of the downsides to endometriosis is that it can be hard to diagnose since other conditions can also lead to the same symptoms. When it comes to the exact cause of endometriosis, that can be tricky to determine. There are quite a few factors to be aware of, including the following:
- Retrograde period flow (menses reentering the pelvis)
- Immune system dysfunction
Fortunately, there are various treatment options that can help stem your endometriosis symptoms. Pain medication, hormones (oral contraceptives) or taking out endometrial tissue while still keeping the uterus intact. For many women endometriosis can impact their quality of life by affecting their physical, mental, and social well-being. Whether these growths show up on your ovaries or fallopian tubes, raising awareness about the causes, types, symptoms, and treatment of this condition can help you pursue the care you need.
National Endometriosis Awareness Month History
In 1993 the Endometriosis Association, led by Mary Lou Ballweg, president, executive director and founder of The Endometriosis Association along with seven other women promoted Endometriosis Awareness Week which later expanded to a month, worldwide. Yellow is the universally recognized color as an awareness tool for endometriosis awareness (established in 1980). The goal is to educate women about this serious condition, fundraise and march for awareness and unity. You can join online awareness conferences or virtual events being held in March, and even show your support by volunteering.
-You are not alone; endometriosis is a common gynecological issues facing women.
-Diagnosing endometriosis can be hard, that is why the average diagnosis can take up to seven and a half years of experiencing symptoms.
-Endometriosis adversely affects women’s reproductive systems leading to infertility.
-Making lifestyle changes and taking natural remedies may bring some relief. Exercise, a nutrient-rich and well-balanced diet, including omega-3 fatty acid, curcumin, Vitamin C and E estrogen mimickers like soybeans, chickpeas, peanuts and pistachios.
-Endometriosis is a long-term condition that doesn’t go away.
The main reason to participate in National Endometriosis Awareness is to promote early diagnosis of this disorder instead, lowering the statistics that show it often takes years to detect and treat. If you suspect you might have this painful condition, consider seeking help now rather than later. You don’t need to live with the physical and emotional pain that comes with this condition.
Our Idaho Fertility Center team supports National Endometriosis Awareness Month so the taboos and stigma around menstruation can finally be broken by speaking out and seeking help. Our board-certified endocrinologists and team is to help you with your fertility issues in Idaho Falls, Idaho.