Endometriosis Awareness Month draws attention to women's health

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Show your support for endometriosis awareness this month and wear a yellow ribbon or shirt!

March is Endometriosis Awareness Month. Endometriosis is an inflammatory condition where the tissue that usually lines the interior of the uterus starts to grow outside the uterus; a painful disorder that affects 10 per cent of women worldwide.

Symptoms of this condition include severe pain, especially on your menstrual cycle (as if it wasn’t painful enough), pain during or after intercourse, pain with bowel movements or urination (basically, a tremendous amount of pain), and excessive bleeding. Furthermore, having this condition can lead to fertility problems.

Although the exact cause for acquiring endometriosis is not certain, some risk factors Mayo Clinic lists include never giving birth, having had an early start to your periods, going through menopause at an older age, having shorter cycles, when one or more relatives have endometriosis, any medical conditions that prevent normal menstrual flow, and reproductive tract abnormalities.

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The important thing to understand about this disorder is that many factors and risks to acquiring it are out of a person’s control. It is a condition that some people develop solely based on genetic factors.

Unfortunately, endometriosis is not curable, but there are treatments that can help with the painful symptoms, such as hormone therapy, or taking out the tissue growing out of place through a laparoscopic surgery. However, usually these treatments only help with the pain for a short amount of time and symptoms tend to return. The more permanent pain relief option involves removing the ovaries completely, according to Michigan Medicine.

So, what happens in Endometriosis Awareness Month?

The Endometriosis Association began Endometriosis Awareness Month in March of 1993, according to their website. Now it has developed into a worldwide movement that many people observe to promote the awareness of the disorder. Activities, outreach programs, fundraisers, camps, and many other events happen during the month of march to induce awareness about endometriosis.

The reason endometriosis awareness is important is because of how easily it goes undetected. Even though 200 million women worldwide suffer from this condition, it is often misdiagnosed because of how little people are aware of its existence. Early detection of this condition can help manage the symptoms without the need for surgery, that is why awareness is so important.

There are so many ways to be aware of endometriosis, including reading about the condition its risks and symptoms, promoting awareness through social media and other platforms that are accessible to you, and if you want to go the extra mile, there are many organizations that accept donations to help teens with endometriosis, including the Endometriosis Network Canada.

Keeping yourself informed is the first step to promoting awareness. Even if you do not suffer from the condition, being educated and learning about the illness could help someone who does. So, put on a yellow shirt or ribbon to show that you are aware and ready to show your support this March!