March is Endometriosis Awareness Month

March is Endometriosis Awareness Month. Endometriosis is a condition involving menstrual blood that flows back through the fallopian tubes and areas throughout the pelvic area, rather than flowing entirely out of the vagina. These displaced cells can stick to surfaces of the pelvic organs and the bowels.

Endometriosis can cause intense pelvic pain and be a factor in infertility. It can cause emotional upset, especially when others do not understand or dismiss how painful the condition can be. It can make for painful bowel movements or urination. It can make sexual intercourse painful or prevent sexual relations altogether. I have started to read personal stories about gluten intolerance and endometriosis.

No, it is not normal for your periods to be excruciating. No, it is not normal to be doubled over during your period. You are not being dramatic. If you have endometriosis or you think that you might, and especially if you wish to have a baby, don’t wait. Seek out a consultation with your local fertility clinic.

Here are some resources for you or someone you care about. First, I would like to share with you this article  “Endometriosis – A Medical Disease with Emotional Side Effects”, written by my friend and colleague, psychologist Joann Paley Galst, PhD. Dr. Galst is the Chair of the Mental Health Advisory Council of the American Fertility Association and a past chair of the Mental Health Professional Group of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine.

I also suggest that you check out the Endometriosis Association and and the World Endometriosis Research Foundation.


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