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Endometriosis effects 1 in 10 woman and you may be one of them, but don’t ask your doctor for help because they won’t believe you. Scary, right? This article is going to help break endometriosis down and guide those who think they may be apart of that 1 in 10 and what they can do to get help and be heard.

Endometriosis is a disorder tissue similar to the lining of the uterus (otherwise known as the endometrium) grows outside of the uterus and into tiny lesions.  What’s so unique about endo is that it cannot be seen through x-ray, ultrasound and even MRI. This is why it’s so tricky to diagnose endo, because you can’t see it until a doctor cuts you open. It’s an invisible disease.

You’re probably asking yourself ‘How do I know if I have Endometriosis?’

Endometriosis symptoms include painful period cramps, cramps when you aren’t on your period, constipation, diarrhea, painful sex, infertility, nausea, abnormal periods, heavy periods, or spotting. Since I have endo and have talked to lots of other people with it I know that the most common symptom is heavy and painfully crampy periods. My periods would leave me on my hands and knees groaning in pain. The pain would start in my lower back and shoot down my legs into my knees. I remember having doctors tell me to walk around when I has having these cramps but what they didn’t understand was that 1) ‘walking around’ doesn’t do anything for endometriosis and 2) the pain was in my knees so walking didn’t help.

I have been misdiagnosed time and time again. I was told I had kidney failure and gall-stones. I was in and out of hospitals and told that since they can’t see anything, that it isn’t real. The worst one was when I was told it was just ‘anxiety’ and it was all in my head. The saddest part is that this is what most women with endometriosis experience. They have numerous doctors tell them they are just crazy, that they are making up the pain and they have to grin and bear it. 

Throughout all of history there has been a stigma around periods.  A stigma that has been forcing women’s mouths shut. A stigma that teaches girls that having a painful period is normal; newsflash, it isn’t! It’s not okay to be in pain and if you are you should speak out about it. Back in cavemen days when men would see women bleeding and assume they were dying. When their period wold end and the woman didn’t die the men assumed that the women were witches. The men would lock them away in homes out of fear. How can some one bleed and not die? 

 That fear and connotation about women is still alive. It’s the reason why women are afraid to ask for help, it’s the reason why women are assumed to stay home and raise the child while the man works, it’s the reason why oppression has been thrown upon this entire gender.

 Women have a voice and we have every right to use it when we know something is wrong. When I was in and out of hospitals I knew in my gut that something was wrong. It wasn’t anxiety or just me overreacting, it’s called Endometriosis and its real and valid. Below I will link my doctor who quite literally saved my life. Please reach out and do some research if you think you may have Endometriosis.

Website for the Endometriosis Foundation of America: https://www.endofound.org

Profile of my doctor, he was the first man to perform Endometriosis surgery without the use of lasers: https://www.endofound.org/-/tamer-seckin

Website for booking an appointment with him if you are in the New York City area: https://www.drseckin.com

 

Writer from Philly, I like fruit, art, and people who aren't afraid to be themselves. I am a second-year at The New School and am majoring in Journalism and Design and Screen Studies
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