In the above video I outline briefly what Endometriosis is as well as show you the many beautiful faces that are suffering from this disease. I thank these women from the bottom of my heart for helping me break the stigma and raise awareness.
Endometriosis is a hormonal and auto-immune disease in which the cells similar to that in the uterus (edometrium) grows outside of the uterine cavity. The most common location for Endometriosis to grow is within the pelvic cavity however there are cases where it is found in the diaphragm, heart and even the brain. This adhesion's created can cause cysts to form, and even bowel obstruction. Typical symptoms of Endometriosis are: pelvic pain, painful periods, painful ovulation, abnormal bleeding, and the list goes on. The worst part of Endometriosis is there is no cure.
In order to diagnose Endometriosis, your gynecologist will perform a laparoscopic surgery. This involves anywhere from 1 to 4 keyhole incisions. At this point they will explore your pelvic cavity and if Endometriosis is found it will be removed where possible. However depending on where it is located, some removal is too dangerous.
Many women find comfort in hormonal therapy as pain management and some are able to manage it through diet and exercise. However some women find no comfort and live every day in pain.
1 in 10 women have Endometriosis and it is the most common gynecological condition in women, however not many people know about it. I am one of these women and I will give you a brief look into my own personal story.
When I was 16 I went to my doctor often complaining of pelvic pain and painful periods, it was then that they suspected Endometriosis. I was sent for a dozen ultra sounds and nothing was found, it was then that my doctor at the time told me to - suck it up. In November 2013 I began to become very sick, I was in excruciating pelvic pain and could not eat anything. I went to the ER more times than I can count and nothing was found. I had ultrasounds, CT Scans, a gastro-scope, a colonoscopy and an MRI and nothing was found. I kept being told that it is cases where young women like me come in that it really confuses them to what is wrong. My work at the time was causing so much distress because I hadn't had a diagnosis and I began to feel hopeless and depressed. It was until I saw a gastroenterologist that he said he was 99.99% sure I had Endometriosis and need to have a lap done. I was then set up with a gynecologist who started me on a hormone pill called Visanne. Within a couple months I was almost pain free, I wanted to cry. Once my trial period was done we scheduled a lap and in January of this year I was officially diagnosed.
I have never felt so alone in my life and I do not want that to happen to anyone else. This is why I am breaking the stigma and talking about it. I want those who are suffering in silence to speak up and get them help they deserve. I want to hope that if we make enough noise I can potentially see a cure in my lifetime.
Below are some links to foundations for more information or to donate for research development:
Thank you for reading