Thirteen Things You Might Not Know About Endometriosis
* Endometriosis is one of the top three causes for female infertility. Up to 40% of women with “endo” will wind up with some degree of difficulty conceiving.
* The average woman with endometriosis will experience symptoms for 4 years before bringing it up to her doctor, it then takes an average of an additional 5 years to get a diagnosis.
* While endometriosis commonly affects the reproductive organs, urinary tract, and the bowels it has been found almost everywhere in the body (i.e. the lungs).
* There is no such thing as being too young to have endometriosis. Symptoms can appear as soon as with the first cycle.
* The ONLY way to know for sure if you have endometriosis is to have surgery by a doctor familiar with the disease.
* Ultrasounds, bloodwork, CT scans, MRIs and manual exams can all come back as normal even with extensive disease.
* Endometriosis causes adhesions or scarring wherever it is present. As the disease progresses organs can actually become fused together. Not only can this be painful but it can cause disfunction in the related organs (i.e. intestinal or urinary obstruction). The only treatment for adhesions is surgery, which itself causes more adhesions.
* As the disease progresses it can result in a condition known as a “frozen pelvis. This is when all of the pelvic organs and even the bowels fuse all together.
* While many women find that symptoms improve after menopause (natural or chemically/surgically induced) this is not always the case.
* Women can continue to have active disease even after menopause or hysterectomy.
* While there are many and varied treatments, ranging from surgery to hormone therapy and others, there is NO CURE. If you have endometriosis and your Doctor tells you that A B or C will “cure” your disease run, do not walk, and find someone who knows what they are talking about.
* The disease appears to be hereditary in some shape or form. If you have a mother or sister with endometriosis you are 7xs more likely to have it than the genral female population.
* When diagnosing endometriosis, many doctors will only look (during surgery) for black or “powder-burn” colored implants. However it has been shown that endometriosis can come in a wide array of colors and appearances. Endo can appear black, red, pink, white, yellow, brown, blue and even clear.
Additional sources are listed on the website itself.