To close out Endometriosis Awareness Month, we are answering some of the top questions about this often painful condition affecting 1 in 10 people with ovaries in the US — including symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment options.
Unfortunately, despite endometriosis being a widespread condition, it is severely under-researched, which contributes to a limited understanding of the condition that is constantly evolving. It can take an average of 7–10 years for the condition to be properly diagnosed! Many people have never heard of endometriosis, so this blog post provides a high-level overview — stay tuned for a deeper dive on the various experiences of our members as we work to shine a light on this under-addressed condition.
Endometriosis is a disorder where tissue similar to the lining of the uterus grows outside of your uterus and on other areas in your body where it doesn’t belong, including:
Symptoms can vary from person to person. Some of the most common symptoms are:
For those experiencing symptoms of endometriosis, doctors may use a variety of methods to determine if the symptoms may relate to endometriosis:
Non-invasive therapies use medication. Anti-inflammatory medications, such as ibuprofen, can help reduce the pain. So can medications that control hormones, such as birth control pills.
Severe cases may require invasive surgery, in which the doctor treats the endometriosis by removing or burning off lesions and scar tissue.
Unfortunately, endometriosis can’t be prevented, but research suggests that you may be able to reduce your chances of developing it by lowering the levels of the estrogen hormone in your body.
You can lower estrogen levels by:
If you’ve been experiencing symptoms, we encourage you to set up an appointment with a doctor who can help determine if you might have endometriosis and help you manage your experience to get back to living life more fully.