5 Things to Know About Endometriosis

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Being a 20-something woman is not always easy — especially when it comes to dealing with periods that are honestly the worst, or pelvic pain that might feel normal or typically accompanies that time of the month.

However, sometimes period pain isn’t always *just* period pain. Pelvic discomfort even in-between periods is a commonn symptom of endometriosis, a condition that affects an estimated one in ten women of reproductive age.

That’s why Her Campus has partnered with SpeakENDO, an initiative that brings awareness to and provides resources for those who may be dealing with endometriosis. Read on to learn more about endo and what you can do to better understand its symptoms.

1. Endometriosis affects an estimated one in 10 women of reproductive age.

According to SpeakENDO, endometriosis occurs when tissue that acts a lot like the lining of your uterus starts growing outside of your uterus, where it doesn't belong. These out-of-place growths can cause severe pain and inflammation — from painful periods and painful sex to pelvic discomfort, even in-between periods.

2. Not all women who have endometriosis experience the same symptoms.

It’s important to note that although there are often common signs and symptoms, endometriosis is not a one-size-fits-all disease. Though the most common symptoms are painful periods, pain with sex and pelvic pain in-between periods, women with endometriosis may not have all three, or they may experience other symptoms.

3. It’s possible that it could take up to six to ten years to be properly diagnosed with endometriosis.

Though the symptoms are very real for women who have endometriosis, the path to diagnosis is not always linear or simple. In younger women especially, symptoms may be dismissed as “just bad periods,” or the symptoms may align with signs of other diseases. Talking to your healthcare provider and speaking up about all your symptoms is the first step toward receiving the proper diagnosis and care.

4. There’s no cure for endo, but women can work their healthcare providers to determine the best treatment plan.

Not all women experience endometriosis pain the same way. That’s why it’s important to talk to your doctor to determine the best treatment plan for you. Treatment options can range from holistic approaches, such as changes in diet or acupuncture, to medications or surgery.

5. Resources are available for women who have endometriosis — or those who want to learn more about the disease

One of those resources is SpeakENDO.com, which encourages women to advocate for their own care and learn more about the disease from others who have been there.  SpeakENDO.com has quizzes, factsheets and videos that help women to learn more about the disease, as well as a guide to endometriosis organizations and communities that foster support of women with endo.

Maybe you experience symptoms that sound similar to the ones described above, or perhaps you just have some questions you’d like to ask your healthcare provider. Either way, it’s always important to speak with your doctor and encourage your friends and other women in your life to do the same.

 

Sponsored by AbbVie and SpeakENDO.