It's Time We Start Talking About Endometriosis

The last week has been tough for me. Instead of doing homework and studying for upcoming exams, I spent most of my time in bed. No, I was not sick. I had to spend a week in bed because I was on my period. Like most girls, I get my period once a month. Unlike most girls, my period brings intense pain and sometimes renders me immobile. This happens because I have Endometriosis. You most likely haven't heard of Endometriosis, and if you have, you most likely know little about it. It will probably surprise you to know that approximately 10% of reproductive-aged women suffer from Endometriosis, yet no one talks about it. I am writing this article to spread the word about Endometriosis so that those who suffer from it know that they are not alone. 

 

So what is Endometriosis? Your uterus is lined with a tissue called the endometrium. When you get your period each month, this is the uterus shedding its endometrium tissue. When someone has Endometriosis, this tissue grows in places outside the uterus. Because of this extra tissue, women with Endometriosis deal with severe abdominal pain. Other symptoms that occur with Endometriosis include pain during sexual intercourse and difficulty getting pregnant. 

 

The hard part about Endometriosis is that not everyone experiences the same symptoms - Endometriosis is different for each person. There is also not a cure or a known cause of Endometriosis, though they do think genetics plays a role. Additionally, it is a long process to get diagnosed with Endometriosis because the only way to diagnose it is with a surgery called a laparoscopy. Though the process to get diagnosed is hard, you should still talk to your gynecologist if you suspect you might have Endometriosis. It is NOT normal for your period pain to be so bad that it interrupts your day-to-day life, so tell your gynecologist if you are experiencing this pain. You can find resources such as a symptom quiz and a gynecologist finder on speakendo.com

 

If you have Endometriosis, I want you to know that you are not alone. Like I said before, 10% of women of reproductive age have Endometriosis. You should not be afraid to talk about what you are dealing with. When I was battling my Endometriosis pain last week, I came across My Endometriosis Team. My Endometriosis Team is a website where people with Endometriosis (even if it is not officially diagnosed) share their stories and trade tips for dealing with the symptoms. Here, I was able to find a community. It showed me that I am not the only one dealing with this pain, so if you suffer from Endometriosis, I want you to know that you are not alone either.

 

HCXO, Riley

 

Information from UCLA Health, Speak Endo, and My Endometriosis Team