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Endometriosis: Separating Myths from the Facts
2 August 2021
Endometriosis, sometimes called "endo," is a common debilitating condition among females. It is chronic and painful and often gets steadily worse. There are many myths about endometriosis that can make it difficult to diagnose and manage the condition.
As with many chronic diseases, various myths abound about the debilitating condition. Endometriosis is no exception. Which of these myths are you familiar with? Which did you believe? Do the facts surprise you?
We'll debunk some of these beliefs and explain what you can do if you think you might have endometriosis.
MYTH: It’s all in your head.
FACT: Perhaps the most popular myth about endometriosis is that it's inevitable. However, the truth is that endometriosis is a physical, not a mental, condition.
MYTH: Teens can’t get endometriosis
FACT: Teenagers are not too young to have endometriosis. Endometriosis can affect teenagers just like it can affect everyone else. In fact, symptoms frequently begin in adolescence, but, unfortunately, it typically takes 7 to 10 years to diagnose. As a result, teenagers may endure excruciating pain and should always be taken seriously.
MYTH: Acute pain is very normal during your period.
FACT: The pain of endometriosis affects every single aspect of your life and you may be bedridden every month because of your period, missing out on family time, social engagements, and professional opportunities. Moreover, the pain may not be limited only to your period. Endometriosis can also cause pain between periods when you go to the bathroom, or during sex.
MYTH: It is something an over-the-counter pain reliever can help
FACT: The pain is not just a "bad period cramps" that can be alleviated with over-the-counter pain relievers, heating pads, and vitamin supplements. You need to seek medical intervention. Your gynecologist will use hormones, pain medicines, and, in serious cases, surgery, to manage the condition.
MYTH: Endometriosis means you can’t get pregnant
FACT: Too often, many young women believe that having endometriosis means they won't be able to conceive a baby. And they’re very, very wrong. Many endometriosis patients go on to have children.
MYTH: If you have heavy bleeding, it means you have endometriosis
FACT: Not necessarily. It's one possible cause, but there could be others, such as Polyps and fibroids, Thyroid issues, Pregnancy, and Cancer.
Because knowledge is power, do this quiz to see if you're at an elevated risk of developing endometriosis.
Do you bleed in between periods?
Do you have severe menstrual cramps?
Do you have excessive bleeding during menstruation?
Do your periods last longer than 7 days?
Did you have painful periods as a teenager or in your early twenties that were worse than your peers or caused you to miss school?
Do you experience pelvic pain that worsens during menstruation?
Do you have lower back, abdominal pain, or chronic pelvic pain?
Do you have painful bowel movements or urination?
Do you have fatigue, diarrhea, constipation, bloating, or nausea, especially during menstrual periods?
Do you have rectal bleeding or blood in your urine?
Do you have leg pain, sciatica, or shortness of breath?
Did your mother or sister have endometriosis?
Did you start your period before age 11?
Do you spot in between your periods?
Each of these questions depicts an endometriosis risk factor. The more risk factors you check off the list, the more likely you are to get endometriosis.
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