Endometriosis has often been mistaken for normal menstrual pain. Most women are accustomed to experiencing cramping during that time of the month. While normal menstrual cramps tend to be minor and can be treated with over the counter pain medication, endometriosis often causes more severe symptoms such as chronic heavy and long periods, pelvic pain during and after sex, bowel or urinary disorders associated with periods, and crippling menstrual pain.
The lack of awareness that surrounds endometriosis may be one reason that some women ignore the symptoms and avoid seeking medical treatment. On average, there is a 7-year gap from the moment a woman starts experiencing symptoms to getting evaluated and diagnosed.
What is endometriosis?
Mayo Clinic defines it as a painful disorder in which the tissue or the endometrium that normally builds up inside the uterus grows outside the uterus. The tissue outside the uterus thickens, breaks down and bleeds with each menstrual cycle, as it normally would. However, since it’s outside the uterus, the tissue will not exit the body which may eventually develop into scar tissue and adhesions.
Some factors may put you at a greater risk of developing the condition such as:
• Low body mass index
• Alcohol consumption
• Having higher levels of estrogen in the body
• Family history of endometriosis
• Short menstrual cycles
• Starting your period at an early age
• Never giving birth
• Going through menopause at an older age
Endometriosis has no cure, but research studies are being conducted to find potential new treatment options. We are currently seeking volunteers with endometriosis to participate in a research study to evaluate whether an investigational medicine could help reduce pain caused by endometriosis. Those that qualify may receive study-related care and medication at no cost, learn how to manage symptoms of endometriosis, and receive access to possible new treatment options. Compensation for time and travel is also available to those who qualify. If you or someone you love suffers from endometriosis, consider participating in a research study. Click the button below to learn more!