Endometriosis affects approximately 1 in 10 women of reproductive age around the world. Yet for most, it takes an average of eight years to receive a diagnosis and begin treatment. In a survey of people in the UK, 54% didn’t know what endometriosis was. Looking at the number of women affected, you may be wondering why more people don’t know about endometriosis and why it takes so long to confirm a diagnosis.
Many women may learn to ignore severe menstrual symptoms. Cramping, pain, and bleeding are taught to be expected during menstruation, and it can be hard to know how each individual’s experience varies from what is considered “normal“. Many women also experience difficulty in getting medical professionals to pay attention to their symptoms, or find that their symptoms may be downplayed in discussing diagnosis and treatment options.
Why is it important to raise awareness about endometriosis?
Raising awareness about endometriosis can help increase research funding into new treatments. It can also aid in earlier diagnosis of the disease. Finally, it can help women and medical professionals take symptoms of endometriosis seriously.
Endometriosis is a progressive disease. The sooner a patient can receive a diagnosis, the sooner treatment can begin. This may help minimize both the symptoms of the disease and long-term complications.
Endometriosis awareness month
March is Endometriosis Awareness Month. EndoFound and EndoMarch, among other organizations, work to raise awareness about endometriosis around the world. In 2021 (as in 2020) most events were virtual. However, many organizations are hoping to have in-person awareness events in 2022.
How can I help?
You can help raise awareness for endometriosis by volunteering with organizations like EndoFound and EndoMarch or donating towards their goals. For example, EndoFound has a platform for charity streaming, so that you can do what you love while helping raise awareness about endometriosis.
Check with your local groups which are working to promote awareness. Your local doctor’s office or clinic may know of organizations working locally to raise awareness and fund research into endometriosis. If there isn’t already a group – you may want to start one!
Read about the disease and find out more. Even though endometriosis affects millions of women worldwide, many people have not heard about the disease. Or, they may not know how to recognize symptoms that might indicate they have endometriosis.