Every March, Endometriosis Awareness Month takes place across the world with a mission to raise awareness of the disease which affects an estimated 176 million women around the globe.
Endometriosis gets its name from the word endometrium, which is the tissue that normally lines the uterus. Endometriosis occurs when that tissue starts to grow outside the uterus and becomes present in other areas of the body where it doesn’t belong, such as the ovaries, fallopian tubes, outer surface of the uterus, etc. Endometriosis is a highly inflammatory disease and can cause a significant amount of pain.
Endometriosis growths bleed the same way the lining inside of the uterus does every month during the menstrual cycle. This causes swelling and pain because the tissue is present and growing and bleeding in an area where it can not easily exit the body. Pain is the most common symptom. Women suffering from endometriosis may experience different kinds of pain such as:
· Extremely painful menstrual cramps
· Chronic lower back and pelvis pain
· Deep pain during or after sex
· Painful bowel movements or painful urination during menstrual periods
Other common signs and symptoms of endometriosis include:
· Heavy menstrual periods
· Bleeding or spotting between periods
· Digestive problems (such as diarrhea, constipation, bloating, or nausea)
Endometriosis can happen in any female who has menstrual periods, but is it more common in women in their 30s and 40s. It is estimated to affect approximately 1 in 10 women of reproductive age in the United States. Because many women experience cramps during their period, it is difficult to judge what is normal and abnormal pain. This is one of the reasons many cases of endometriosis go undiagnosed.
The only way to accurately diagnose endometriosis is by a highly invasive laparoscopic surgery, which often deters women from seeking help and advice. Denver Holistic Medicine is here to help those who are experiencing symptoms of endometriosis (or those who have already been diagnosed) with gentler, less invasive and pharmaceutical-free options. For more information on endometriosis and our women’s health services, click here.