March is Endometriosis Awareness Month, and ladies, if you suffer from endometriosis, you’re not alone, as 176 million reproductive-age women have the disease worldwide. At Metro OBGYN, we think it’s important to bring additional awareness to this often misunderstood disease. Here are several ways you can raise awareness about this painful pelvic health disorder this March (and beyond).
Endometriosis is a condition where the uterine lining grows outside of the uterus — on ovaries, fallopian tubes, and other locations throughout the abdomen and body.
Those who have endometriosis often have a diminished quality of life due to pain caused by the disease. By creating awareness around this common pelvic health disorder, it can shed light on the importance of highlighting symptoms and signs, dispelling misconceptions, and breaking down misinformation concerning this condition.
Unfortunately, there has been a general lack of awareness due to the normalization of symptoms being shrugged off as severe menstrual pain. This has contributed to delayed diagnoses for many women. When symptoms are not identified early enough, it can take anywhere between 3 to 11 years for a woman to be diagnosed with endometriosis, as reported by the National Institute of Health and US Library of Medicine. The sooner we spread awareness of this condition, the sooner that 1 in 10 women can be treated.
4 Ways You Can Bring Awareness to Endometriosis
There are many different ways you can help during Endometriosis Awareness Month. We list our top 4 ways below:
1. Talk about it.
Often, the most challenging part about endometriosis is opening up lines of communication with yourself, your family and friends, and most importantly, your provider. It’s imperative to talk about your experiences with a provider as they will be able to distinguish whether what you’re experiencing is due to a severe menstrual cycle or if it’s a disorder such as endometriosis. Furthermore, talking about what you’re experiencing helps providers gain much-needed information for diagnosing endometriosis sooner rather than later.
When transitioning your winter wardrobe to spring, feel free to wear yellow or sport a yellow ribbon — the symbol for endometriosis awareness. A simple awareness tool such as a ribbon can spark conversations anywhere, whether that’s “in elevators, offices, and in walking around, people will go, 'Oh, what is it?,'” according to Mary Lou Ballweg, founder of the Endometriosis Association.
2. Join an event.
Endometriosis Awareness Month provides several options for those looking to get involved. One of the ways you can do that is by joining EndoMarch, a worldwide event taking place on March 30, 2019. Gather with survivors and supporters to march for awareness. Find your EndoMarch team chapter here. In Minnesota, you can register with the MN Endo Warriors, a nonprofit organization raising awareness for endometriosis. If you’re unable to march but you still want to get involved, use the hashtag #EndometriosisAwarenessMonth on social media.
3. Educate yourself.
If you or a loved one might be experiencing the signs and symptoms of endometriosis, visit with your provider. You’ll learn whether or not you have it, which treatment options are the best fit for you and your lifestyle, and how you can go about easing any discomfort you may be experiencing.
4. Share your story.
With 1 in 10 women living with this condition, you likely know someone who has endometriosis — it may even be you. Because it’s a widespread condition, helping others understand what you’ve been through can be a beneficial part of the healing process. One thing that helps many women cope is joining a local support group for endometriosis where you can meet others who share the same condition and share your story and experiences.
What It’s Like to Live With Endometriosis
By raising awareness for endometriosis, more women will be diagnosed sooner. Don’t let this debilitating condition create roadblocks and disruptions in your life. Schedule an appointment at one of our four Metro OBGYN locations to learn more about endometriosis.
If you want to know more about what it’s like to live with endometriosis or how other women are coping, read our downloadable guide below.