Happy March aka ¼ of the way through 2021! Wow, we’ve come a long way — this time, last year, things were heating up with COVID-19, International Women’s Day and now, we’re bringing attention to endometriosis. That’s right, March is Endometriosis Awareness month!
Endometriosis Awareness Month began in 1993 as a way to support and encourage women around the globe to overcome the stigma surrounding endometriosis by speaking out about their pain and the need for a cure. So, what is endometriosis? It’s a hormonal and immune system disease in which endometrial tissue is found in other areas of the body; basically, it’s when the lining of the uterus grows outside of the uterus such as on the ovaries, behind the uterus or on the bowels or bladder.
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This “misplaced” tissue can cause pain, bleeding, formation of scar tissue and other medical problems. Symptoms include painful periods, pelvic pain, heavy or irregular bleeding, and infertility. See, not many people have heard of this disease although approximately 176 million women worldwide suffer from endometriosis. Luckily, there are many ways to get involved with raising awareness about endometriosis this month — and anytime throughout the year!
- Start a discussion
- Talk to others about endometriosis, whether that be family, coworkers, friends, enemies. Casually mention it in conversation whenever you can — people might just be interested in learning more! Think about it: without Mary Lou Ballweg, one of eight women who founded the Endometriosis Awareness movement, it never would’ve blossomed into Endometriosis Awareness Month!
- Utilize social media
- Go online and share facts about endometriosis or your own experiences and feelings toward the disease. People might disregard the posts but they will have seen the word “endometriosis” which may encourage them to search for further information on their own.
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- Participate in an event
- Various activities occur year-round, but particularly during Endometriosis Awareness Month. Toward the end of March, an endometriosis march takes place in major cities across the world so check whether there is one near you. Virtual endometriosis marches also are happening for people who are unable to attend one.
- Sign and share petitions
- Many petitions across the world are circulating with the goal of getting endometriosis into education programs or raising awareness in the medical field to help get quicker diagnoses for women.
- Educate yourself and others on endometriosis — read books, browse websites, watch YouTube videos. Improving your own knowledge of endometriosis can not only make you feel more safe and secure but it can help others to understand that endometriosis is normal.
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- Share your story
- You can share your endometriosis story by writing a blog or posting on social media. This will raise awareness while also prompting women to seek medical advice if they relate to your experiences.
There are so many ways to raise awareness about endometriosis. Share how you’ll be celebrating this month in the comments below!
The above information is for general informational purposes only and is NOT a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your doctor/primary care provider before starting or changing treatment.