March is Endometriosis Awareness Month: Let’s Talk About It
It’s a disease that affects an estimated 7 million American women, yet research on the causes of endometriosis and how to treat it continues to be severely underfunded. The most recent statistics from the National Institute of Health reveal that in 2016 a total of $10 million was spent on endometriosis research. Compare that to diabetes, which affects nearly the same amount of people but received $1 billion in funding, and it’s no wonder that so many women suffer in silence.
What is endometriosis?
Although it’s a common disorder among women of childbearing age, mention endometriosis and you may be met by a blank stare.
So what exactly is this disease? Endometriosis occurs when the tissue that normally lines the uterus grows outside of the organ. When this occurs it can cause extreme, debilitating pain and irregular or excessive bleeding. In addition, it’s a leading cause of infertility. Because the symptoms can mirror menstrual pains, endometriosis is often misdiagnosed or missed completely.
Diagnosing and treating the disease
Since so little funding has gone into researching endometriosis, it comes as little surprise that many women receive misguided information or are just sent along the way and told to pop an aspirin to deal with the pain.
Endometriosis is not a normal part of being a woman. Although it’s still relatively unknown, hopefully that is beginning to change with Endometriosis Awareness Month. For the fifth year, events are taking place across the globe to recognize the more than 176 million women worldwide who suffer from this condition.
If you’re dealing with chronic pain and other symptoms that you think may be endometriosis, schedule an appointment with your gynecologist. To properly diagnose the disease the physician will use laparoscopy, which involves inserting a tiny camera through a small slit to view the organs.
Treatment for endometriosis can range from pain medication and hormonal therapy to surgery, such as a hysterectomy. Women should talk to their doctor about the severity of their symptoms and whether or not they want to become pregnant.
Endometriosis resection is another endometriosis treatment option. To learn more about this minimally invasive treatment that Dr. Ghozland specializes in, call his office to schedule an appointment at 310.299.7143.