Anyone can suffer from a debilitating medical problem that prevents him or her from working. However, women are at an additional risk of suffering from gynecological conditions such as endometriosis. Although millions of women worldwide suffer from a wide range of symptoms related to endometriosis, they are often unaware the disease exists, and diagnosis can be delayed for several years. This may lead to autoimmune diseases and even an inability to have children.
March is designated as National Endometriosis Awareness Month in order to help women recognize the warning signs of the condition.
Get the Facts on Your Condition During National Endometriosis Awareness Month
Endometriosis is a reproductive disease that occurs when tissue from inside the uterus (endometrium) embeds itself outside the womb. Endometrial tissues have different structures than other tissues throughout the body, and can wreak havoc outside the uterus.
Symptoms of endometriosis vary, but can often include:
- Severe or crippling menstrual pain
- Very heavy periods
- Periods that last for more than five days
- Intense lower back pain before or during periods
- Pelvic pain that worsens after sexual activity or pelvic examinations
- Constipation or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Frequent colds or infections due to compromised immune systems
- Urinary disorders
- Extreme fatigue
Many women assume these symptoms are merely normal side effects of periods, and don't seek medical treatment for their suffering. On average, women with endometriosis are diagnosed seven years after the earliest onset of their symptoms. Unfortunately, the only way to definitively diagnosis endometriosis is through laparoscopic surgery, an invasive procedure that involves inserting a small camera into the body to check for displaced endometrial tissue in the pelvic organs.
Treatment for endometriosis depends on the severity of the condition. Some women may require only hormonal drug therapy and pain relievers, while others may need to have the displaced endometrial tissue removed. In some cases, removal of the uterus—a hysterectomy—and other reproductive organs may be necessary.
If your doctor diagnosed you with endometriosis, you could be eligible for Social Security disability payments. Contact us today to find out if you qualify.