Knowledge bombs: Endometriosis
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People often receive conflicting information about endometriosis from various sources such as the internet, media, and health professionals. With this in mind I thought some may find it useful to have some ‘information bites’ about endometriosis. Enter, Knowledge Bombs!
MEndometriosis is more than ‘just’ period pain.
Women with endometriosis experience symptoms that can occur during their period and/or other times of the month. While many women experience pain with their period, the pain that a woman with endometriosis experiences often reduces her ability to perform her usual activities (e.g., paid employment, school).
MNo woman is too young or too old to have endometriosis.
Endometriosis is experienced by girls and women of all ages, even those who have not yet had a period or who have been through menopause.
MThe cause of endometriosis is not known.
There are many theories about what causes endometriosis but no good quality evidence to support any that explains that majority of women’s cases. There is no evidence for poor mental health, past sexual abuse, career choices, or stress levels as causing endometriosis.
MThere is no effective long-term treatment for endometriosis.
While there are many treatment options available such as surgery to remove the disease or hormonal therapies (e.g., the mini pill, the shot) to inhibit the growth of the disease, none provide long-term relief and each are associated with side effects. Women report different levels of symptom reduction for different lengths of time with each method.
MEndometriosis ≠ infertility.
Women with endometriosis are more likely to have trouble becoming pregnant when they want to than women who have not been diagnosed with endometriosis BUT there is no good quality research to suggest how much more likely they are. (For more information see here)
MPregnancy is not a treatment option for endometriosis.
There is no evidence to support the recommendation of pregnancy as a treatment option for endometriosis. Some women report feeling better after giving birth, some report feeling worse, and some report no difference. (For more information see here)
MHysterectomy is not a cure for endometriosis.
Endometriosis is a condition defined by the presence of disease outside of the uterus. Thus, removing the uterus does not cure endometriosis. However, some women report symptom relief after having their uterus removed. Others find it creates additional problems.
I hope you found this first lot of Knowledge Bombs useful. If you would like ‘information bites’ on any other women’s health topic please let me know.