Why Increasing Awareness of Endometriosis Is So Important

Little is known about endometriosis and sadly for many women, the disease isn’t taken very seriously by medical professionals. With the average woman waiting more than eight years for an accurate diagnosis, it’s time everyone started paying more attention to this painful disease.

MORE: More about endometriosis symptoms and diagnosis

As reported in the Chester Chronicle, celebrities like Lena Dunham are doing their best to raise awareness of the disease — a disease that is often dismissed by primary care doctors as painful periods or just a normal part of being a woman.

However, the debilitating pain suffered by women who have the condition affects every part of their lives. Women have the right to be taken seriously when they present their symptoms to their doctor. In order to facilitate the conversation, more women and young girls need to be educated about the disease so they can recognize the symptoms as they occur.

Left untreated, the growth of uterine tissue outside of the uterus can wreak havoc. As the tissue attached to other organs, it can lead to fertility problems and incredible pain.  The pain intensifies and spreads, not only affecting a woman when she has her period, but all month long.

It’s estimated that 10 percent of women of childbearing age have the disease, many of whom may not realize they have it.

Diagnosing endometriosis is incredibly difficult, hampered somewhat by doctors’ reluctance to take women’s symptoms seriously. Oftentimes the endometriosis cannot be seen on a scan and the only way to diagnose the disease is through a laparoscopy performed by an experienced surgeon. A procedure that may put many women off reporting symptoms in the first place.

In the U.K., a study found that women with endometriosis needed an average of 10 appointments with their doctor before they were referred to a specialist. It also discovered that 67 percent of women found out about the disease through the Internet rather than other sources — highlighting how little effort is put into educating woman and young girls about endometriosis.

MORE: 12 fast facts about endometriosis

Endometriosis News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.