One in ten women have Endometriosis…and it’s estimated 170,000,000 women worldwide have it. For many of us, it’s taken 8-10+ years to get a diagnosis – it personally took me 22 years before my pain had a name. Why does it take so long?
Well, the symptoms have been written off as normal. It’s all just “part of being a woman.” Many physicians don’t understand the signs and symptoms of the illness. Many women aren’t taken seriously when we describe our pain. There is no simple test for Endometriosis. Imaging studies may not catch it. Blood tests may not be abnormal. The only tried and true way to diagnose Endometriosis is with surgery and biopsy of the tissue.
The invasive growths that Endometriosis causes inside our bodies are like nasty little spores. They attach, fester, and grow wherever they wish: the pelvic cavity, on top of organs, the bowel, the uterus, the urethra, the liver, the appendix, the diaphragm, and in rare cases: the lungs, the spine, the brain, skin, the eyes, the heart, the lungs. They feed off of our hormones and react like the lining of the uterus: they swell, they inflame, they cramp, they shed. They cause excruciating pain and the scar tissue caused by this illness may pull our organs out of place, weaving them to other organs or our abdominal wall.
And to make things even more difficult, there is no cure. There are treatments: pharmaceuticals, supplements, diet and lifestyle changes, Eastern medicine, and surgery. But many physicians aren’t skilled in performing surgery to effectively remove the disease lesions from the body. Many don’t even practice the “gold standard” of excising the disease, but rather they burn it away…leading to recurrence and increased internal scarring.
Even with proper excision, recurrence and regrowth of the disease may occur. The only thing we can do? Be there to support one another and research and support organizations that may one day find easier treatments and (hopefully) a cure.
Some of us only suffer while on our periods. But some of us suffer all of the time. A hysterectomy may help relieve some discomfort, but it may not. Menopause may help, but it may not. I know plenty of women post-hysterectomy or who are beyond the Change of Life who are still suffering from Endometriosis symptoms.
One day there will be a cure. And in the meantime, all we can do is be there for one another. I love you, my EndoSisters. And to those of you who support us, you have my gratitude and affection. ❤
If you would like to learn more about this craptastic illness, please follow this link. It’s where I’ve put all of my research in one place…and there are links within the blog that will bring you to greater details on the subject. https://bloominuterus.com/what-is-endo/
If you know someone with Endometriosis, give them a gentle hug today.