March is Endometriosis Awareness Month. Endometriosis… it’s not something a lot of people are familiar with, until you, or someone you love is diagnosed with it. Endo is a chronic, and ridiculously painful, but hidden, condition that effects over 6 million women in the US alone. Endo happens when the tissue we have lining our uterus (for some reason…) decides it wants to be on the outside; mostly in the stomach, ovaries, Fallopian tubes, you know, all the other great “stuff” we have as women. This tissue, being in the wrong place, turns into lesions… and tries to shed, like a normal tissue build up would from a menstrual cycle. However there’s no place to go. The tissue/lesions cannot leave the body. This results in internal bleeding, inflammation, adhesions, the formation of scar tissue, severe pain, bowel issues, and in most severe cases, infertility.
Great news though (sarcasm)… no one can pin point the cause of endometriosis and because of this, there is no cure. Of course, like anything else, there are theories, but nothing solid. So, we wait. Silently. Dreading the “But you don’t look sick?!” comment… *grumble* Yes, yes, there are treatment options, but some of them are just down right scary!! Scary or not, these treatments can help relieve some symptoms and improve quality of life. Oral pain medications, inject-able pain relief, hormone therapy (*makes weird face*), and lastly, surgery. Surgery can range from outpatient laparoscopies, to COMPLETE hysterectomy… go in with a uterus, leave without. Oh!!! There are also holistic measures that Endo patients can try if they feel so inclined. Whatever works!! As one of 6 million+ I hope eventually endometriosis will be a thing of the past. Until then, I can try my best to spread awareness. #EndEndo