Many people are willing to help when it comes to medical conditions such as cancer, AIDS, and autism, but there is also a holiday dedicated towards women’s health for a condition that not many know about. This condition is called Endometriosis, and it has its own month where women all over the world march and help raise money for an eventual cure.
HAPPY ENDOMETRIOSIS AWARENESS MONTH!
It’s the best time of year. Okay, maybe that’s a tiny bit of a stretch, but it’s certainly up there! What could be better than seeing people across the world celebrate endometriosis awareness? Endometriosis Awareness Month is the chance to grow our support networks, share information, and be open about the battle we fight every day.
The Endometriosis Association began Endometriosis Awareness Month in 1993. March marks Endometriosis Awareness Month, and one woman is doing everything she can to spread awareness of the disease. Endometriosis affects 1 in 10 women of childbearing age, which equates to nearly 176 million women and adolescent girls worldwide. Yet the disease is often misdiagnosed or missed altogether. Lack of education and awareness is a big reason endometriosis goes undetected.
AIMS OF ENDOMETRIOSIS MONTH INCLUDE:
promoting – a greater awareness & understanding of endometriosis as a real, debilitating and disabling disease
highlighting – the consequences of living with endometriosis for the sufferer, carer and all those affected by the disease
creating – a greater awareness and understanding of endometriosis amongst the medical profession, education sector, employers, politicians and society in general
seeking – a best practice and consistent care and treatment for everyone wherever they may live
providing – an opportunity for those whose lives have been affected by endometriosis to play an active part in helping making a difference.
WHAT IS ENDOMETRIOSIS?
It was first discovered microscopically by Karl von Rokitansky in 1860, although it was documented in medical texts more than 4,000 years ago. This condition affects 1 in 10 women per year are affected yet no one talks about it enough.
Endometriosis, or “endo” for short, is a condition that happens when tissue similar to the lining of a woman’s uterus (womb) grows outside of the uterus. This tissue grows mainly in the abdominal cavity.
The tissue is linked to the woman’s hormonal cycle. However, unlike a period, the tissue remains within the body and bleeds forming adhesions (scar tissue), lesions and blood-filled cysts. It can cause painful periods, pain during sex, irregular bleeding, digestive problems, infertility, and other symptoms.
Endometriosis can have a devastating effect on the quality of life of sufferers of this condition due to the painful symptoms that the disease carries and the fact that it is the biggest cause of infertility in women. So, don’t ignore the pain in the name of “Bad Periods”.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?
The symptoms of endometriosis include painful periods, painful ovulation, pain during or after sexual intercourse, heavy bleeding, chronic pelvic pain, fatigue, and infertility, and can impact general physical, mental, and social well-being.
WHAT AYURVEDA IS SAYING?
It comes under “Yoniayapad” in Ayurveda. When a woman does certain things in her diet/lifestyle that vitiates Apana vata, then it is starts moving upwards instead of downwards. This causes period blood to move upwards in the pelvic cavity instead of coming out through vagina. Eventually endometrium starts growing at abdominal places & starts bleeding during periods. This gives rise to adhesions, inflammation & severe pain.
WHAT IS THE TREATMENT?
There is no known cure and, although endometriosis can be treated effectively with drugs, most treatments are not suitable for long-term use due to side-effects. Surgery can be effective to remove endometriosis lesions and scar tissue, but success rates are dependent on the extent of the disease and the surgeon’s skills. Pregnancy may relieve symptoms but is not a cure for the disease.
WHAT IS THE CAUSE?
There is no known cause of endometriosis, but it is highly likely that certain genes predispose women to develop the disease. Thus, women have a higher risk of developing endometriosis if their mother and/or sister(s) are also affected. It is possible that age when the menstrual period starts, other gynecologic factors, and environmental exposures influence whether a woman is affected.
In spite of its prevalence, the condition is notorious for being plagued by myths and misconceptions, making it difficult for women to fully understand the condition or seek treatment.
So, on this Endometriosis awareness month, we’ve put together 4 common myths about endometriosis – and the truth behind them – so you have all the facts you need to protect your Uterus.
Myth #1: Heavy Bleeding and Extreme Pain Are Normal Period Symptoms
Fact: It’s common for women to experience cramps and heavy flow during menstruation. As a result, many women tend to ignore when their symptoms go from bad to worse. However, there is a point where these symptoms are far from normal. For instance, if you experience severe, long-lasting abdominal or pelvic pain, or your flow is so heavy that you need to change your pad or tampon every two hours, you need to address these symptoms with your OB/GYN.
Myth #2: Having Endometriosis Means That You Are Definitely Infertile
Fact: In endometriosis, endometrial tissue can sometimes obstruct the fallopian tubes or cause scarring, making it difficult for some women to get pregnant. While endometriosis does leave some women infertile, many with the condition are still able to conceive and have a baby, especially if they have a mild to moderate case.
Myth #3: Hysterectomies Cure Endometriosis
Fact: While sometimes the situation might call for extreme treatment, a hysterectomy is not recommended in most cases of endometriosis. Not only is it an invasive and irreversible procedure, but it’s also not guaranteed to actually relieve symptoms.
Myth #4: Endometriosis Can’t Be Treated
Fact: Currently, there is no cure for endometriosis. Even though it’s a common reproductive issue, it’s wildly misunderstood and under-researched by the biomedical community. However, there are a number of techniques that can be used to manage and treat it, including:
Over-the-counter pain relievers and anti-inflammatory drugs
“Awareness is everything” While more people know about the condition today, there’s still a significant demand for greater understanding, especially when it comes to diagnosis and treatment options. With timely intervention and early detection, one can have a chance at attempting to manage their symptoms before turning to surgery.