Ella M., journalist
March may seem like any other month to many, but for millions of individuals worldwide, It’s a time to educate, advocate, and break the stigma surrounding endometriosis. March is endometriosis awareness month. What is endometriosis? According to the Endometriosis Foundation of America, “Endometriosis occurs when tissue similar to the inner lining of the uterus, also known as the endometrium, is found outside its normal location, where the tissue should not be.” Right now, there is no known exact cause or cure for endometriosis.
“The disease affects 1 in 10 reproductive-aged individuals (aged 12-52) – an estimated 200 million women worldwide – and many often experience a decade-long delay in diagnosis.”
An extensive range of symptoms stems from endometriosis that varies depending on the individual. However, the most common and debilitating symptom is lower abdominal pain.
At thirteen, I was diagnosed with endometriosis. About a year later, I had a laparoscopy, a surgical procedure “used to check organs in the abdomen.” In my experience, Endometriosis does affect the patient’s life significantly, but it should not prevent you from living your life. In recent years, I have begun researching organizations helping patients with Endometriosis for personal gain and to see how I can help others.
“The Endometriosis Association is a nonprofit charity, founded in 1980, providing support for families affected by endometriosis, education about the disease, and research on the disease.” The Endometriosis Association began recognizing March as endometriosis awareness month in 1993. Twenty-nine years later, it has become more mainstream and is still widely observed. Endometriosis awareness month aims to further awareness, research, and education on the disease. It’s also a time for individuals and their families to find support and celebrate something that can often make you feel alone. With the rise in awareness surrounding endometriosis, there has also been a rise in resources. These resources are not exclusively for individuals diagnosed with endometriosis. They provide information on education, donations, research, support, etc. The following is a list of replicable resources on endometriosis:
- The Endometriosis Association: https://endometriosisassn.org/
- The Endometriosis Foundation of America: https://www.endofound.org/
- Endometriosis Research Center: https://www.endocenter.org/
- Worldwide EndoMarch: https://endomarch.org/
- Endometriosis.org: https://endometriosis.org/
- Endometriosis Association of Ireland: https://www.endometriosis.ie/
- Endometriosis UK: https://www.endometriosis-uk.org/
- Endometriosis Australia: https://www.endometriosisaustralia.org/