Ever wonder why it seems like your period is WAY worse than your friends’? Have others told you you are a "wimp" or a "baby" when dealing with terrible period pain? Is your period so crippling you miss out on school, sports, or social events? If so, you might have endometriosis. Read on for more!
Endo–huh? How Do I Even Pronounce That Word?
Endometriosis (pronounced end-oh-me-tree-oh-sis or endo for short) occurs when the lining of your uterus (the stuff that is normally shed during your period) is present outside the uterus in places it doesn’t belong. It can infiltrate internal organs, reproductive organs, bladder, rectum, or intestines. It's like you're having mini periods wherever these lesions are growing, in addition to your normal period! It affects 10 percent of girls and women of reproductive age, and symptoms can begin at the on set of your first period.
Endometriosis usually gets worse over time if left untreated. That’s why it is really important to speak to a doctor if you think your period is not normal in any way. If treated early endometriosis can be managed so it does not get worse. Remember: Early diagnosis and intervention is key!
Visiting the doctor for any reason can be hard, but it is especially difficult when dealing with reproductive health. The good news is, we can help! Tracking your symptoms can give your doctor a clearer picture of what you're experiencing every month. You can do this on your phone through apps like Phendo. You can also use our paper tracking system (click here) and read our tips for seeing the doctor (click here).
Have additional questions about your period and endometriosis? Want to know more about next steps? Check out our FAQ page! You can also email our ENPOWR staff for answers to your questions at ENPOWR@endofound.org or follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram for more information.