National Endometriosis Awareness Week is observed from March 4 to 10 every year in the U.S. The holiday helps to raise awareness about this condition that can be hidden and often unrecognized. Endometriosis is a disease that affects women when tissue similar to the lining of the womb grows on the outer part of the uterus instead of inside it. National Endometriosis Awareness Week helps to spread information about endometriosis as a debilitating, and disabling disease. It recognizes the consequences of living with endometriosis for the patient, care provider, and all those affected by the disease.
History of National Endometriosis Awareness Week
National Endometriosis Awareness Week takes place in March every year to help raise awareness about endometriosis, a disease that occurs when tissue that is similar to the lining of the womb grows in the abdominal cavity and is linked to the woman’s hormonal cycle. It remains within the body and is not removed like a period. Instead, it bleeds and forms adhesions, lesions, and blood-filled cysts. It is estimated that about one in 10 women is affected by endometriosis.
Symptoms include pain, like dysmenorrhoea, dyspareunia, and chronic pelvic or abdominal pain. Endometriosis is known to lead to infertility. The prevalence rate ranges from 25% to 40% for women with subfertility.
The Endometriosis Association was officially established in 1980 by Mary Lou Ballweg and Carolyn Keith. Ballweg alongside eight other women was responsible for founding the Endometriosis Awareness Week during their annual Endometriosis Association roundtable in Milwaukee in 1993. The organization eventually grew into one of the most successful organizations for endometriosis. During the observation, education, fundraising, and marches run worldwide. The Endometriosis Association provides free, worldwide distribution of popular yellow ribbons and brochures. It helps women understand that endometriosis is a greatly undiagnosed disease and it removes the taboo associated with women talking about their monthly period and physical health. It also improves the study of endometriosis in the medical profession.
National Endometriosis Awareness Week timeline
Women are referred to psychiatrists when they present with pelvic pain with no clear cause.
Hysterectomies and specific removal surgeries become more frequent and advanced.
Pelvic exams become a common practice with the rising awareness of cervical cancer and the introduction of the pap smear.
Women with endometriosis become some of the earliest recipients of the hormonal contraceptive pill.
National Endometriosis Awareness Week FAQs
Is it easy to diagnose endometriosis?
Diagnosing endometriosis is not easy. For endometriosis to be diagnosed with certainty, surgery is used.
Are painful periods normal?
Experiencing severe period pain that cannot be relieved by pain relievers may be a sign of endometriosis.
Can endometriosis be managed?
Yes, it can. It is possible to manage endometriosis through medications, hormone therapy, and surgery.
How to Observe National Endometriosis Awareness Week
Make a donation
You can make a donation. Donate to an organization that helps with the research and treatment of endometriosis.
Learn about endometriosis
You can do some research to help you understand the disease better. It is always good to have information.
Share the holiday
You can share the holiday with people you know in person or online. It can help raise awareness of the disease.
5 Interesting Facts About Endometriosis
It is a common ailment
In the U.K., Endometriosis is the second most common gynecological condition.
The diagnosis takes time
It can take about eight years from the onset of symptoms to get a diagnosis.
It is a costly disease
Treatment, loss of work, and healthcare costs for endometriosis cost the U.K. economy about 10 billion dollars a year.
There is no known cause
The cause of endometriosis in most women is unknown.
There is no cure
There is currently no definite cure for endometriosis.
Why National Endometriosis Awareness Week is Important
It helps people
The efforts of the holiday provide help to people who have been affected by endometriosis. It helps to make sure that more women can get support when they need it.
It provides treatment
More people can get access to standard healthcare and treatment. The holiday helps to encourage women to get treatment.
It raises awareness
The holiday helps to keep people informed about endometriosis. It helps them make better decisions.
National Endometriosis Awareness Week dates