Welcome to my endometriosis page! I decided I needed to create a separate page on the blog explaining endometriosis for those who either have never heard of it, are new to their journey with the disease, or who just want some more information on the subject. I hope you find that here! Below are links to endometriosis resources, as well as links to ALL of my endo-related blog posts for easy perusal!
This page is a work in progress. If, at any time, you have any suggestions of things you’d like to see on the page, resources to add, things that may not be clear, or things you are questioning the accuracy of, please feel free to comment below! I want to make this the best resource I can for women suffering from endometriosis, and a good source of information for those family and friends going through this disease with them.
What is Endometriosis?
Endometriosis is actually a very common disease, with an estimated 176 million women affected worldwide during their reproductive years. That’s about 1 in 10 women. So let’s say you know about 100 women. That means 10 of them have endometriosis whether they know it or not. But it’s a disease almost no one has heard of. How can this be? Because it’s a “below-the-waist” issue, which has been an area of the female body that people feel ashamed to talk about due to cultural taboos that exist to this day. So what? Let’s talk about it.
Endometriosis is a painful condition in which tissue that is similar to, but not identical to that which is found in the uterus grows outside of the uterus. These tissues share some similarities, but are histologically (at the tissue level) different. For example, endometriosis lesions can produce their own estrogen, essentially feeding themselves. Lesions can be confined to the pelvic cavity and the reproductive organs, but frequently venture into the abdominal cavity or even further. Endo has even been found on the diaphragm and the lungs in rare cases. Courtesy of the Center for Endometriosis Care, symptoms of endometriosis can include:
- “Crippling period pain in menstruating females
- Abdominopelvic pain at any time, often intractable
- Bowel or urinary disorders/pain/dysfunction
- Painful intercourse/penetration/sexual activity
- Infertility/pregnancy loss/possible link to preterm births
- Immune-related and other comorbid disorders
- Allergies, migraines or fatigue that may tend to worsen around menses
- Coughing up blood in cases of pleural/thoracic endometriosis
- Leg and lower back pain, particularly in cases of sciatic endometriosis”
Women may present with few or many of these symptoms depending on the location and depth of lesions. Girls may begin experiencing symptoms of endometriosis even within 6 months after her first period; in fact, it has been stated that as many as 70% of teenagers with pelvic pain go on to be diagnosed with endometriosis.
But why does it matter? Who cares about a disease that won’t kill you? Because the effects it can have not only on the life of the person who has it, but the effects on their spouses, partners, loved ones, and friends can be truly detrimental as well.
- Endometriosis Foundation of America (Dr. Tamer Seckin)
- Center for Endometriosis Care (Dr. Ken Sinervo, Dr. Nicholas Kongoasa, and Dr. Robert B. Albee Jr. [founder of CEC])
- Endopaedia (Dr. David Redwine)
- Vital Health Institute (Dr. Andrew Cook)
- The Endometriosis Network Canada
- Endometriosis Mexico
- Trinidad and Tobago Endometriosis Association
- Endometriosis UK
- Endometriosis Association of Ireland
- Icelandic Endometriosis Society
- Endometriose Vereinigung Deutschland
- Endometriosis Australia
- Endometriosis New Zealand
- Endometriosis Foundation of Africa
- Endometriosis Foundation Ghana
- Endometriosis Society of South Africa
- Endo What? director Shannon Cohn giving a TEDx Talk on Endometriosis
My Endometriosis-Related Blog Posts: (in the order in which they were written)
- You Have What In Your Where?
- Know Your Enemy
- The Gold Standard
- A Sticky Subject
- Take Off With Us
- The Day Before the Day Of
- Always A Zebra
- Pelvic Pain Beyond Endo
- Do You Know Ten Women? Then You Know Endo.
- Fly Away Home
- What Once Was, Is Now Lost
- A Letter to the 12-Year-Old Me, Who Doesn’t Know She Has Endo
- Painsomnia Strikes Again
- “That’s the thing about pain…”
- Slight Complications and A Visit From Jesus
- July- A Month in Review
- Endometriosis: A Profound Effect on the Women of Our World
- Just Endo
- Nocturnal Musings #5: A New Diagnosis?
- Patient Advocacy in Healthcare
- The Pain Problem
- The Guilt of Chronic Illness
- Loving My Chronically Ill Body
- Grown Up Birthday List
- Nocturnal Musings #15: The Meaning of Strength?
- How Chronic Illness Showed Me What Love Is
- The Guilt of Living with Endometriosis
- Happy Endo-Versary!
- An Angry Uterus
- How to Support a Loved One With Endometriosis
- Six Things I Wish I’d Known About Endometriosis