Speaking Up About Endometriosis

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If television is talking about it, that usually means the general public is ready to acknowledge it, if not embrace it.

Exhibit A: endometriosis.

Endometriosis, which affects an estimated 200 million women around the world, is the subject of at least two TV commercials right now—bringing to the forefront an often excruciating condition that women have been living with silently for decades.

Diagnosing endo often takes years—partly because it’s complex to pinpoint and partly because women tend to keep the symptoms to themselves, thinking they just need to muscle through painful periods, painful sex, pain in general. But the longer you wait to explore the root of such pain, the harder it can be for you to get pregnant. According to the National Institutes of Health, women with endometriosis are up to 50 percent more likely to be infertile.

Early diagnosis gives doctors a better chance of successfully treating your symptoms—there’s no cure, contrary to some prevailing myths—and clearing the way for conception.

Endometriosis causes the fimbria, whose job it is to pick up the egg and take it to the fallopian tube, to swell and scar, keeping the egg from reaching its destination. But with laparoscopy, your physician can diagnose and treat the endo, using cauterization, laser, or scissors to remove the lesions.

Before Endometriosis Awareness Month ends, tell your gynecologist or a fertility specialist about any pain you’re having–it might not be endometriosis but it might be. You won’t know if you don’t talk about it.

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