March is Endometriosis Awareness Month
March is dedicated to sharing the pain those who suffer from the disorder endure. The disorder remains somewhat of a mystery for the medical field.
Endometriosis is a condition where the lining of the uterus grows on the internal organs, like ovaries, pelvis, bowel or bladder.
It can lead to significant pain and in some cases it can cause problems for women trying to get pregnant. The symptoms can include mild to severe pain in the pelvic area before a menstrual cycle or irregularities in a cycle. But the symptoms can vary woman to woman.
Dr. Michelle Krohn, OBGYN Monument Health, Spearfish, says, “The degree of endometriosis, so how bad it is, doesn’t necessarily correlate with how symptomatic they are, so they can have severe disease and have minimal symptoms, or they can have very mild disease and have terrible symptoms.”
1 in 10 women of reproductive age has this disorder. A lack of education and awareness can contribute to delays in diagnosis.
Women are encouraged to talk to their physician about any symptoms they may be experiencing.
But also, there is a genetic factor that can come into play.
Krohn adds, “So if you have a first degree family member, with endometriosis you have a 7-10 fold increase risk of having endometriosis, so a pretty high risk if you know, your mom had it.”
Endometriosis has no cure, but symptoms can be managed with medications. Surgery is also an option for some women.