History of National Endometriosis Awareness Month
National Endometriosis Awareness Month was an initiation taken by The Endometriosis Association in 1993. This month is observed worldwide through various activities that involve educating people about the condition, fundraising, and marches. Yellow ribbons and brochures are distributed worldwide to honor National Endometriosis Awareness Month.
Endometriosis is a disorder where the endometrial tissue migrates to areas outside the uterus. The endometrial tissue (inner lining of the uterus) is the same tissue that thickens during the menstrual cycle. When the endometrial tissue sheds it is discharged along with blood causing menstruation. In Endometriosis this process occurs outside the uterus, where the blood has nowhere to go, causing pain in the pelvic region.
The symptoms include pelvic pain, heavy periods, bleeding between menstruation, and infertility. Endometriosis is often difficult to diagnose because there are many other conditions that can cause these symptoms. In a few cases, endometriosis remains undiagnosed because it is mistaken for other conditions or women do not experience any symptoms at all.
The causes of endometriosis are uncertain, but several factors such as genetics, retrograde period flow, (where blood flows back into the pelvis instead of out of the body,) immune system disorders, and hormones are possible influencers.
Treatment ranges from symptom management with pain medication and hormone therapy such as oral contraceptives to surgical treatment. Conservative surgery involves removing the misplaced endometrial tissue while preserving the uterus, though in severe cases a hysterectomy may be performed.
Endometriosis can have a devastating effect on the quality of life of individuals suffering from this disorder and can have a huge impact on their physical, mental, and social well-being.