‘Endometriosis.’ Usually, I have to repeat it twice, because most people have never heard about this disease. Strange, if you consider 1 out of 10 women suffer from it. (which is approximately 176 million women in the world) We have the same number of patients who suffer from asthma or diabetes.
Let me start by giving a definition of endometriosis: Endometriosis (en-doe-me-tree-O-sis) is an often painful disorder in which tissue that normally lines the inside of your uterus — the endometrium — grows outside your uterus. Endometriosis most commonly involves your ovaries, fallopian tubes and the tissue lining your pelvis. Rarely, endometrial tissue may spread beyond pelvic organs. With endometriosis, displaced endometrial tissue continues to act as it normally would — it thickens, breaks down and bleeds with each menstrual cycle. Because this displaced tissue has no way to exit your body, it becomes trapped. When endometriosis involves the ovaries, cysts called endometriomas may form. Surrounding tissue can become irritated, eventually developing scar tissue and adhesions — abnormal bands of fibrous tissue that can cause pelvic tissues and organs to stick to each other. Source: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/endometriosis/symptoms-causes/syc-20354656
How is it possible that we still don’t know that much about this disease? Or that we don’t even know what causes or cures this disease?
Not so strange if we compare the money which is currently being invested in researching this disease, compared to others… (By accident, I stumbled on some figures of endo-funding for Australia and USA, so I will only take these 2 as an example: Example Australia: In 2016, the national health and medical research centre allocated $14.7m to asthma research, $64.1m to diabetes research, $837,433 to endometriosis Research. Source: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-03-24/endometriosis-health-system-oblivious-to-suffering-of-women/8331534
Example USA: Where diabetes received more than $1bn in funding each year from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) last year, endometriosis received just $7m. Source: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/sep/27/endometriosis-ignored-federal-research-funding
I refuse to believe and hope the reason is not because it affects only women… (which is claimed by many). I rather want to believe in the ethics of mankind and think that we see men and women as equals, but we just haven’t realized the severity of the disease yet and have thought for a very long time that monthly menstruation pain is just normal.
But I do want to add this post from Nancy Nook on her Facebook Group… there might be some truth in there after all. 🙂
Well girls (and boys maybe…), this is not really the case. Yes, your period can cause you some discomfort, but if you really are in pain or have heavy digestion or stool issues during that period of the month… or longer, than you should really discuss this with your gynaecologist or doctor. If these 2 can not help you or ignore you with your menstruation issues, please go look for a specialist in endometriosis in your area. These days, endometriosis is really getting more and more known and studied, so with a little bit of luck, you will find someone who is not too far away. I might also know a site/group, which can help you find an appropriate doctor or specialist, so let me know if you need my help.
Once you find a specialist, who knows what they are doing, they can help you to find out what stage of endometriosis you might have (Stage 1-4) and what the different options are for you.