Girl Holding Her Knees

The Importance of Bringing Awareness to Endometriosis

March is Endometriosis Awareness Month and every year I like to take some time to reflect on this disease that affects millions of women worldwide. In case you are unaware, endometriosis is a pelvic disorder in which tissue similar to the tissue lining your uterus grows outside of your uterus. Common symptoms include pelvic pain, menstrual irregularities, pain during sex, and often infertility. Endometriosis (endo for short) affects about eleven percent of women and greatly affects their quality of life.

One of the most frustrating parts of this disease is the number of misdiagnoses and misunderstanding. A big reason why it goes undetected is because of the lack of education and awareness. Endo is not just a painful period. Dr. Tamer Seckin says, “With timely intervention and early detection, patients can have a chance at attempting to manage their symptoms before turning to surgery.” None of this can be possible with a lack of awareness. This month I want to challenge you to seek out information and spread awareness for endometriosis.

Sweatpants Against A Wall Arianna Tucker / Her Campus

A simple way you can do this is by wearing a yellow ribbon. Yellow is universally known to be the color for endometriosis awareness and is dated back to 1980 with the publishing of a yellow endo awareness brochure. This method of awareness works because of strength in numbers. It’s important to show the real impact this disease has on women.

Along with this, you can just talk about it. It’s time to end the stigma surrounding menstruation. A painful period is not normal. Pain between periods is not normal. The sooner we end the taboo around women’s health, the sooner a woman can receive the treat and the support she deserves.

If you want to take it a step further, you can attend awareness events. EndoFound hosts two big events in March: the Blossom Ball and a medical conference. The Blossom Ball is a night of celebration and charity. The profits go towards endo research and education and is held yearly in New York City. There is also a worldwide EndoMarch on March 28.

A group of people are in a meeting. They appear to be in a conference room at work. A woman is standing and shaking hands across the table with a man who is sitting down. fauxels | Pexels

There are also several endo conferences that provide an opportunity for researchers to share their work and doctors to meet about patient care. These meetings sometimes feature a live laparoscopic surgery and techniques for endometriosis tissue removal are discussed. These events are a way for doctors to discuss methods and ultimately find a cure.

Endometriosis is a devastating disease. Not only does it affect the body physically, but it also takes a toll mentally and emotionally. If you know someone with endo, give them a little extra love and support. Take the time you can and fight for a cure, every little bit matters.

HCXO, Jenna