What is Endometriosis?

It’s a chronic illness that affects 1 in 10 women.
The official definition of endometriosis is:

a condition resulting from the appearance of endometrial tissue outside the uterus and causing pelvic pain.

Basically endometrial tissue that should be in the uterus somehow grows outside of it.  Endometriosis most commonly involves your ovaries, fallopian tubes and the tissue lining your pelvis. Endometrial tissue may spread beyond pelvic organs.

This causes extreme pain.
Painful periods.
Pain in between periods.
Pain during intercourse.
Pack in your back, neck, legs.
Pain with bowel movements.

Currently there’s no known cause.
And, there’s no way to diagnose without laparoscopic surgery. {Which I have had, stay tuned for another post where I share about that}

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Mayoclinic.org describes these symptoms of endometriosis.

·       Painful periods (dysmenorrhea). Pelvic pain and cramping may begin before your period and extend several days into your period. You may also have lower back and abdominal pain.

·       Pain with intercourse. Pain during or after sex is common with endometriosis.

·       Pain with bowel movements or urination. You're most likely to experience these symptoms during your period.

·       Excessive bleeding. You may experience occasional heavy periods (menorrhagia) or bleeding between periods (menometrorrhagia).

·       Infertility. Endometriosis is first diagnosed in some women who are seeking treatment for infertility.

·       Other symptoms. You may also experience fatigue, diarrhea, constipation, bloating or nausea, especially during menstrual periods.

{https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/endometriosis/symptoms-causes/syc-20354656}

Some women experience so much pain that they are unable to perform daily tasks several days a cycle.  

For years I have struggled with knee, hip and back pain.  I’ve done years of testing to find the answer.  I spent my high school years not able to participate in sports.  No one could figure it out.  Until I struggled with infertility.  And then suddenly it all made sense.

There is not enough research done on this chronic illness.
Doctors do not know enough about it to diagnose it properly or even consider it as a culprit.

My family doctor told me that endometriosis has no correlation to fertility.

I think back to those years that I suffered in extreme pain. 
I was told that I had

·     Osteoarthritis
·     Arthritis
·     Patella Femora Syndrome
·     Bad cartilage
·     Misaligned hips
·     Poor arches in my feet

If only someone thought to ask more questions about my periods.

While I'll never know for sure if all of my pain is a direct result of endometriosis.  I truly believe that there is a strong correlation between my pain and my endometriosis diagnosis.

If this blog can help one girl not walk the same path that I did.
If this blog can help one women have some answers.
If this blog can offer comfort to one couple walking the same road we did.

It’s an uncomfortable subject I know.

But it’s time to shine a light on endometriosis and it’s effects on women.

It’s time for doctors to educate themselves on the illness.
It’s time to find a better way to diagnose it.
It’s time to find a way to alleviate the pain.

It’s time.

{PSA: I am not a doctor.  The information in this blog should not be substituted for a doctor's diagnosis.  I am an advocate.  I had to push hard for my doctors to take me seriously when I thought I had endometriosis.  Please, please, please advocate for yourself if you believe you have endometriosis.}