Throughout the month of March, a spotlight is placed on the biggest cause of infertility in women: endometriosis. Not only does endometriosis affect a woman’s ability to carry a child, it’s an extremely painful disease that can be debilitating in many ways. Endometriosis, however, is still widely misunderstood and dismissed by many.
Join American Surrogacy in taking part in Endometriosis Awareness Month!
What You Need to Know About Endometriosis
If you know someone who deals with this condition, or if you think you may have endometriosis, here’s what you should know:
- Endometriosis is a chronic inflammatory condition that can affect the uterus, pelvic peritoneum, ovaries, recto-vaginal septum, bladder and bowel.
- Symptoms are usually very painful, and can include pain during periods, ovulation, during or after sex; persistent pelvic pain; chronic fatigue; heavy bleeding; and infertility.
- This condition affects about 1 in 10 women during their reproductive years (approximately 176 million worldwide).
- Endometriosis symptoms can occur as early as a first period, but menopause may not end the symptoms, especially if scar tissue or adhesions have accumulated as a result of the disease.
- Surgery is the only option for removing endometriosis lesions and scar tissue, although success rates can vary.
- There are treatments to help with endometriosis, but there is no known cure.
- There is no known cause for endometriosis, although genetic predisposition currently seems to be the most consistent factor.
Who Endometriosis Affects and How it Affects Them
Because this is an unfortunately common condition, you or someone you love is likely directly affected. Here’s how lives are changed by endometriosis:
- Intimate relationships can be a source of physical pain for women who suffer from endometriosis, which can be frustrating and emotionally alienating for both partners.
- Some women who suffer from endometriosis may grieve aspects of their femininity, as a woman’s menstrual cycle, sexual health and ability to carry children is often part of her self-formed identity.
- Sufferers often have to spend a lot of time at home, missing work, school or important events due to painful symptoms.
- In some cases, endometriosis can cause infertility, which primarily affects the woman with the condition but can also affect her spouse or partner and her family.
- Many people don’t understand the condition, believing endometriosis to be merely “a difficult period,” and women who suffer from the disease are left feeling belittled and having their symptoms dismissed by friends, family, doctors or employers.
How You Can Help Raise Awareness This March (and All Year Long)
Whether you suffer from endometriosis yourself or you want to help raise awareness on behalf of someone you love, Endometriosis Awareness Month is a great time to start. Here’s what you can do this March to spread the word:
- Share information about endometriosis throughout the month of March on social media.
- Use the hashtag #EndometriosisAwarenessMonth.
- Learn more about what’s happening for Endometriosis Awareness Month throughout the world.
- Encourage others to attend Patient Awareness Day through the Endometriosis Foundation of America, and use the hashtag #LetsTalkPeriod.
- Volunteer through the Endometriosis Foundation of America.
- Run for EndoFound charity marathons.
- Share your story and help others who are suffering from endometriosis feel less alone or help others recognize their symptoms earlier.
- Donate, intern, research or learn more about other ways to help end endometriosis.
Even just sharing facts about endometriosis with others throughout the month of March on social media can reach a surprising number of people. Here are the social media accounts of a few good resources to use (be sure to check out their full websites, too):
- The World Endometriosis Society (WES)
- The World Endometriosis Research Foundation (WERF)
- Endo Support
- Endometriosis Update Blog
- Endometriosis Foundation of America (EndoFound)
- Endometriosis UK
- European Endometriosis League
- Endo InVisible
- Worldwide EndoMarch
What Surrogacy Has to Do With Endometriosis
So, what does American Surrogacy have to do with endometriosis? A number of intended parents choose surrogacy as their way to have a family following a struggle with endometriosis and/or infertility as a result of the disease. For those who are ready to pursue different family-building methods after receiving a diagnosis of infertility, surrogacy can be an amazing way to have the family that they’d always dreamed of. Other families choose to pursue adoption through our sister agency, American Adoptions.
However you decide to have a family, American Surrogacy and American Adoptions supports those who are affected by this condition and joins you in your mission to improve public knowledge throughout Endometriosis Awareness Month and beyond.