National Endometriosis Awareness Month – March 2023

National Endometriosis Awareness Month is observed in March. Endometriosis is an inflammatory condition in which the endometrial tissue, or the inner lining of the uterus or womb, grows outside of it. These growths most commonly occur on the ovaries and Fallopian tubes. This disorder can cause painful periods, discomfort during sex, irregular bleeding, and infertility. The objective of this month is to raise awareness about the causes, types, symptoms, and treatment of endometriosis, a debilitating health condition that affects an estimated 176 million women worldwide.

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.

National Endometriosis Awareness Month timeline

1860
Endometriosis is Discovered

Endometriosis is discovered microscopically by Karl von Rokitansky.

1960s
Hormone Therapies for Endometriosis

The only available hormonal therapies for endometriosis are high-dose testosterone and high-dose estrogen therapy.

1993
National Endometriosis Awareness Month

The Endometriosis Association begins National Endometriosis Awareness Month.

2018
New Treatments

Oral GnRH antagonists such as elagolix are introduced for the treatment of endometriosis.

National Endometriosis Awareness Month FAQs

Is endometriosis life-threatening?

Though endometriosis is a painful condition that can affect your quality of life, it’s not a fatal disease. In extremely rare cases, however, endometriosis-related complications can cause potentially life-threatening problems.

Can endometriosis be detected on an ultrasound?

A standard ultrasound imaging test can’t definitively tell whether or not you have endometriosis, but it can identify cysts associated with endometriosis.

What color ribbon is worn during National Endometriosis Awareness Month?

Yellow was the color established as the color for endometriosis starting in 1980.

How to Observe National Endometriosis Awareness Month

  1. Spread awareness about endometriosis

    It is time to get comfortable with discussing women's health. A painful period is not normal and the more we talk about it the sooner an endo patient can receive the treatment and support she deserves.

  2. Educate yourself and others

    Awareness can help detect this disorder early on. You can participate in many awareness conferences or virtual events being organized during this month.

  3. Lend your support

    Many organizations offer volunteer opportunities for people who want to help women affected by endometriosis.

Why National Endometriosis Awareness Month is Important

  1. It spreads awareness

    Lack of awareness and the normalization of symptoms of menstrual pain contributes to delayed diagnoses for many women. Education and awareness help with the early diagnosis of this disorder.

  2. It honors women suffering from endometriosis

    Endometriosis can have a devastating effect on the quality of life of women who suffer from this condition. Having to live with painful physical symptoms have harmful effects on the emotional wellbeing of women too. This month recognizes their suffering.

  3. It eliminates the stigma

    National Endometriosis Awareness Month helps to break the taboo and stigma surrounding menstruation by educating and creating a platform for the discussion of women’s health.

National Endometriosis Awareness Month dates

Year Date Day
2022 March 1 Tuesday
2023 March 1 Wednesday
2024 March 1 Friday
2025 March 1 Saturday
2026 March 1 Sunday