What is a period?
Every month during your cycle, the lining of the uterus (the endometrium) gets thicker in preparation for getting pregnant. When you don’t get pregnant, the lining is shed. This unneeded lining is what comes out during the period.
Are cramps normal?
Cramps are your uterus’s way of helping get rid of the unused uterine lining during your period and are normal. However, if you have cramps that cause you to miss school, that don’t go away with Tylenol or Advil, or get in the way of your life, you should see a doctor. Killer cramps are not normal!
Does this affect having kids?
Endometriosis can cause infertility, or make you unable to have children. It is estimated that 30-40% of women with endometriosis have trouble getting pregnant. The good news is, the earlier endometriosis is treated, the less likely you are to experience more severe symptoms like difficulty getting pregnant!
Can I catch endometriosis?
Endometriosis is not contagious or a sexually transmitted infection, meaning you cannot catch it from someone or pass it on to someone. While we don’t fully understand what causes endometriosis, we do know that if you have a close female relative who has it, you are 5-7x more likely to have it yourself.
How do you treat it?
There are many ways to manage and treat endometriosis, but it is important to discuss them with your doctor to figure out what is best for you. Some things work better for some people than others. Most common ways to manage the symptoms in teens are hormonal birth control (pill, IUD, depo shot), health eating and/or exercise. The only way to treat endo is by having laparoscopic excision surgery to remove the lesions.
What do I do if I think I have endometriosis?
If you think you have endometriosis, track your symptoms so you can tell the doctor exactly how you feel. Go to a gynecologist if you have one or a doctor you trust. You can also find a free clinic near you if you don’t want to ask your parents’ permission to see a doctor. If the doctor doesn’t listen to you, advocate for yourself! Find a different doctor who will listen.
What is a gynecologist?
A gynecologist (aka “woman doctor” or “vagina doctor”) is a doctor that focuses on the female reproductive system.
Can I die from endometriosis?
You cannot die from endometriosis.
What is the EFA doing to help teens?
The EFA runs a teen endometriosis awareness program called The ENPOWR™ Project (Endometriosis: Promoting Outreach and Wide Recognition). This program teaches teens about endometriosis so they understand their bodies and can seek help if they have the symptoms.
Where can I find more information?
Contact the EFA ! We would be happy to help.