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February 25, 2012

March Is Endometriosis Awareness Month!

Check your calendar, March is almost here!

* * S P R E A D   T H E   W O R D ! * *

M A R C H   I S   E N D O M E T R I O S I S   A W A R E N E S S   M O N T H ! !

As we come to the end of February it is time to start gearing up for March. March is Endometriosis awareness month and I will be blogging all month long to help raise awareness to this complicated and very real disease. If you don't have Endometriosis or do not know anyone who does you probably haven't even heard about it and that is why March is awareness month. We need to be made aware of this very painful and debilitating disease and find a cure. Those affected by Endometriosis have had their quality of life reduced by no fault of their own and for know known cause. This is a very complicated and confusing disease that attacks millions of women across the U.S. and everyone needs to be educated on it so that the sufferers can be supported and a cure can be found.


I recently had the opportunity to join some very supportive and wonderful Endometriosis Awareness Groups on Facebook. All of the women who belong to these groups know exactly what Facebook support groups are for. I see more support and caring in the postings and comments in these groups than anywhere else on Facebook, it is nice to belong to groups that show their purpose and support of their common cause - TO RAISE AWARENESS OF ENDOMETRIOSIS AND TO FIND A CURE NOW!

I would recommend the following groups to anyone who is in need of support, help, advise and friends who understand and know the pain of Endometriosis.

Endo. Survivors Group:
http://www.facebook.com/groups/Endo.SurvivorsGroup/

Endobook:
http://www.facebook.com/groups/EndoBook/

Powerful Sisters Fighting Against Endometriosis:
http://www.facebook.com/groups/308612272530884/

What is Endometriosis?
Endometriosis is a painful, chronic disease that affects at least 6.3 million women and girls in the U.S., 1 million in Canada, and millions more worldwide. It occurs when tissue like that which lines the uterus (tissue called the endometrium) is found outside the uterus – usually in the abdomen on the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and ligaments that support the uterus, the area between the vagina and rectum, the outer surface of the uterus, and the lining of the pelvic cavity. Other sites for these endometrial growths may include the bladder, bowel, vagina, cervix, vulva, and in abdominal surgical scars. Less commonly they are found in the lung, arm, thigh, and other locations.

This misplaced tissue develops into growths or lesions which respond to the menstrual cycle in the same way that the tissue of the uterine lining does. Each month the tissue builds up, breaks down, and sheds. Menstrual blood flows from the uterus and out through the vagina, the blood and tissue shed from endometrial growths has no way of leaving the body. This results in internal bleeding, breakdown of the blood , tissue from the lesions and inflammation. Causing pain, infertility, scar tissue, adhesions.

Common Symptoms of Endometriosis
  • Pain before and during periods
  • Pain with sex
  • Infertility
  • Fatigue
  • Painful urination during periods
  • Painful bowel movements during periods
  • Other Gastrointestinal upsets such as diarrhea, constipation, nausea, and IBS.
  • Allergies or Chemical sensitivities
  • Frequent yeast infections
Endometriosis symptoms are not limited to these, nor are they inclusive.

Diagnostic Criteria, Cause & Treatment
Diagnosis is considered uncertain until proven visually by laparoscopy, a typically minor surgical procedure done under anesthesia. A laparoscopy usually shows the location, size, and extent of the growths. This helps the doctor and patient make better treatment choices.

While there are many theories as to what creates the hostile environment in the female human body, there is no certain known cause.

Treatment options vary depending on the physician, the location, size, and extent of the disease, as well as cost. Typical treatments can include the following: surgical laparoscopy (either laparoscope/laparotomy) for the removal of lesions, scar tissue and burns via laser or blade, surgical removal of excessively impaired organs, including portions of the bowel, or a partial or complete hysterectomy, which can be accompanied with medications including either Depo-Lupon, Depo-Provera, oral contraceptives, or other hormonal delivery systems. Personally, I have found that anti-inflammatories and osteopathy techniques have assisted in keeping my endometriosis at bay for the last several years since my last surgery in February 2004.

Awareness – Yellow Ribbons & Brochures
Spread the word! Please wear a yellow ribbon to help spread awareness of this devastating disease! Leave informational brochures about this debilitating condition where women can find it – Hospitals, Pharmacies, Doctor’s offices, Planned Parenthood, Women’s Centres, Welcome Centres, and libraries. Note: always get permission from the local first!

The Endometriosis Association is willing to provide both ribbons & brochures for free upon request. Call the Association at 414-355-2200 or email them at support@EndometriosisAssn.org to order yellow ribbons and our “yellow” brochures on endometriosis. Be sure to include your name and address, which language, and the quantity.

The cost is free, the EA is a charity organization and donations are always welcome to cover the cost of postage.

Source:  http://www.kelliaellis.com/2011/03/28/endo-awareness/

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