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Destigmatizing Endometriosis

WHAT IS ENDOMETRIOSIS?

Endometriosis is a disease that affects almost 190 million girls and women around the world, yet it seems like so many people do not know what it is. The disease involves tissue like the one lining the uterus, except it begins to grow outside of the uterus. Because of this, it causes severe pain for women in the pelvis area and can inflame/form scar tissue in the pelvic region. (World Health Organization, 2023) Unlike some other diseases, endometriosis cannot be prevented or cured, but pain can be medicinally treated. Some people who have endometriosis might not even know it because they don’t have any symptoms. Others, though, will usually have symptoms in the lower part of the stomach where the pelvis is located. Pain can be more prominent during someone’s menstrual cycle. Other symptoms women may experience include chronic pelvic pain, bloating, anxiety, fatigue, depression, and heavier bleeding than normal during the menstrual cycle.

Endometriosis can affect any girl or woman around the globe, regardless of race, ethnicity, or social status, the onset ranging from when one gets their first period or experiences menopause.


For example, as shown in this image, endometriosis creates excess tissue growth outside of the uterus where it can cause so much pain for women in their pelvic region.












STIGMA AND IMPACT

If you can believe, it can take from 8-10 years on average for women to receive an accurate diagnosis of endometriosis. The reason behind this outrageous delay stems from the stigma surrounding menstruation and the gender bias prominent within the medical field.

So many women around the world do not receive the care they deserve and require because medical providers aren’t aware of the severity of having life-altering pelvic pain. This is even more true in low-income countries where there’s already a lack of experienced and knowledgeable medical providers.





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