March is Endometriosis Awareness Month
Endometriosis is a chronic, progressive disease that affects nearly 1 in 10 women of reproductive age the world over. Despite its wide prevalence, the disease is poorly understood and often misdiagnosed. The elusive etiology of the disease combined with the unique experiences of women further complicate diagnosis and subsequent treatment. There is also still a lot of stigma and myth surrounding the disease. Patients and their families tend to dismiss symptoms such as chronic pelvic pain during periods as “normal”. Many teenage girls are not even aware that such a condition can affect them. Therefore, it is our mission to raise endometriosis awareness.
It is important that teenagers and women receive early education about endometriosis. This, in turn, can help women make informed decisions and seek care that may affect their long-term reproductive health and overall quality of life.
It is also important to educate and sensitize male partners and male family members about the disease. This can ensure they show empathy and care to those suffering from this debilitating condition.
Initiatives to increase awareness
The Endometriosis Foundation of America (EndoFound) has been at the forefront of many initiatives to increase endometriosis awareness among the general public and policymakers.
The Endometriosis Education Program is one such initiative. It aims to educate adolescents about endometriosis diagnosis and viable treatment options such as laparoscopic deep excision surgery. The program’s Endo EduKit has played a vital role in increasing dialogue and removing stigmas associated with endometriosis.
EndoFound also built upon Congresswoman Abby Finkenauer’s (IA ’18-20) efforts to double federal funding for endometriosis research through the UpEndo Coalition. The UpEndo Coalition aims to sensitize both the public and policymakers on the importance of prioritizing advanced endometriosis research and outreach.
What to expect this March
The month of March is recognized as Endometriosis Awareness Month. A growing body of researchers, clinicians, healthcare workers, and patients come together to share their experiences and outcomes while advancing collective knowledge about endometriosis.
Organizations such as EndoFound and EndoMarch strive to raise awareness by organizing various educational events and conferences.
The Seckin Endometriosis Center together with EndoFound is organizing the 13th Annual Endometriosis Symposium throughout the month of March. Each Sunday, lectures and discussions will highlight different aspects of the disease. The theme of this year’s conference is “Here, there, and everywhere”. It focuses on endometriosis beyond the pelvis including aspects of thoracic endometriosis.
Patient days will start on Sunday, March 6th. The topics include fertility and endometriosis, peritoneal endometriosis and pain, and deep endometriosis and its definitive treatment. The final Sunday will be geared towards physicians and healthcare professionals.
Your participation is key
Your participation is VITAL in making these events a success.
You can participate in endometriosis discussions on social media with the hashtag #EndometriosisAwarenessMonth or you can participate in local in-person events (e.g. marathons) to raise awareness.
Take part in the Virtual Patient Days 2022 event and equip yourself with first-hand knowledge about endometriosis straight from pioneers and experts in the field.
You can also participate in EndoFound’s Charity Streaming, where you can host your own charity stream to spread awareness and raise money to fund endometriosis research.