This month is Endometriosis Awareness Month and it is so important to bring awareness to this disease that affects millions of women world wide.
1 in 10 women have endometriosis and those are the ones diagnosed. A significant portion of women with endometriosis are asymptomatic and many women do not realise they have it, or have been missed and dismissed along the way. This means the 1 in 10 women with endometriosis is grossly understated.
There is often up to 10 years or more to diagnosis, which means that many women are missed and dismissed before they are finally diagnosed. The only way to definitively diagnosed endometriosis is via surgical intervention (laparoscopy with histology). Scans and blood tests cannot definitely diagnose endometriosis.
The one message that all of us involved in the education and awareness of endometriosis want everyone to know is that “Period Pain” is not normal. While slight discomfort with a period may be normal, pain (especially bad period pain) is not normal. Period pain can be a sign of endometriosis.
While period pain is often the most talked about point of endometriosis, we also need to educate all that endometriosis just isn’t about period pain. There are so many other associated symptoms that we need to bring awareness to as well.
The common signs of endometriosis are:
Pain with intercourse
IBS like symptoms
Pain on bowel movement
Bleeding from the bowel
UTI like symptoms (without infection present)
Anxiety and mood disorders
Bloating (can be severe)- also known as endo belly
Pelvic and rectal pressure feeling
Abnormal uterine bleeding (AUB)
Endometriosis has hereditary links and it now thought to be genetic. Endometriosis is driven by estrogen, so even small amounts of exogenous estrogens will drive the disease. It is not from estrogen dominance and it is not autoimmune.
Endometriosis is basically normal tissue growing in abnormal areas. It behaves very much like cancer, but it is not cancerous. Endometriosis has been found in every part of the body and it can cause damage to multiple organs if it is not managed properly.
Many women with endometriosis are poorly managed, or are not being managed at all. This is why there needs to be more awareness about the serious complications of unmanaged endometriosis.
This month I will be focussing on the facts about Endometriosis and am also very excited be launching the first network of practitioners who are experts in Endometriosis called “The Endometriosis Experts”. There will also be a launch of other experts programs called “The PCOS Experts”, “The Women’s Health Experts” and “The International Fertility Experts”. Stay tuned for more exciting news to follow.
This month please also support Endometriosis Australia and the “Endo March” High Teas. I will be posting more information about these as well.
Lastly, if you have unmanaged endometriosis, or have bad period pain etc, please make sure you seek help for this. If you do need help, you can call my friendly staff and find out how I can assist you and more about my online, or in person consultations.
Please do not put up with period pain, or other menstrual related symptoms, or unmanaged endometriosis. Nobody can manage these symptoms themselves and why it is so important to see an Endometriosis expert.
-No Stone Left Unturned
-Master of Women’s Health Medicine
-The Endometriosis Experts