Endometriosis is an autoimmune illness that women are born with. Doctors do not know what causes endometriosis – there may be several causes. So much misinformation and ignorance still exists about the origins of endo that many women spend years being dismissed, degraded, and mis-diagnosed by doctors before surgical diagnosis confirms endometriosis. Women spend many more years being treated like guinea pigs because doctors cannot agree on effective medical and medicinal treatment of endometriosis.
The symptoms of endometriosis vary from woman to woman, but often include the following:
- Chronic pelvic pain, often extending to the lower back
- Heavy menstrual cycles
- Mittelschmerz (mid-cycle pain and/or bleeding)
- Pain during intercourse
- Moderate to severe fatigue
- Painful urination or bladder complications during menstruation
- Painful bowel movements during menstruation
- Rectal bleeding before and/or during menstruation
- Diarrhea, constipation or nausea during menstruation
- Frequent Urinary Tract Infections and/or yeast infections
- Low-grade fever
- Migraine headaches
- Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)-like symptoms
- Joint pain
- Feeling out of breath or easily winded
Stats are still sketchy as to how many women suffer with endometriosis.
- “Endometriosis is a painful, chronic disease that affects at least 6.3 million women and girls in the U.S., 1 million in Canada, and millions more worldwide”. – Endometriosis Association
- “Current estimates suggest that 6% to 10% of women of reproductive age have endometriosis, or approximately 5 million women in the United States”. – National Institutes of Health
- “Endometriosis is a very common condition affecting up to 10 per cent of women between 16 and 50 years of age, often without producing any symptoms”. –NetDoctor
- “Endometriosis is estimated to occur in roughly 6–10% of women. It is most common in those in their thirties and forties.” WHAT?!?
– Wikipedia, citing the womenshealth.gov website from 2014.
- “Endometriosis is estimated to affect over one million women (estimates range from 3% to 18% of women) in the United States”. –Medicine Net
Treatment of endometriosis can include pain medication, surgery, hormonal treatment, and alternative medicine, but it must be noted that currently, the only definitive diagnosis of endometriosis is firstly made via laparoscopy.
- What is endometriosis?, from The Endometriosis Association
- Here’s what we do know about endometriosis, from the National Institutes of Health
- What is endometriosis?, from Net Doctor
- Wikipedia definition of endo
- What is endometriosis?, from Medicine Net
- Endometriosis F.A.Q., from Women Living Naturally
- Myths About Endometriosis