Endometriosis, also known as Endo, is a disease the effects many girls and women. Every month when a girl has their menstrual cycle, fragments of the tissue that lines the uterus remain within the body instead of leaving during menstruation. The tissue implants itself in other parts of the body, most commonly in the reproductive organs. These implants still respond to hormonal commands, breaking down and bleeding, but unlike normal endometrium, these implants have no way of leaving the body. This results in internal bleeding, inflammation of the surrounding areas and formation of fibrous bands known as adhesions. Depending on the location of the endometrial growths, interference with bowel, bladder, intestines and/or other areas of the pelvis may occur. Endometriosis has even been found lodged in areas such as the lung, skin and brain.
Endometriosis can affect females of all ages including teens and adolescents. Some teens and women experience no symptoms with the disease. Others will suffer with painful cramping, backache, urinary tract (bladder) symptoms and bowel symptoms. Fatigue, allergies, chronic pain syndrome and other such illnesses such as irritable bowel syndrome and fibromyalgia are common in those with Endometriosis. Often minimalized as “killer cramps,” Endometriosis can negatively affect a teen’s ability to attend school, social events, work, or care for herself or her family. While all woman experience some discomfort during their menstrual cycle, debilitating pain is not normal, and Endometriosis should be considered.
There is no cure for Endometriosis, but there are several methods of treatment, which may alleviate some of the pain and symptoms associated with it. Endometriosis is NOT a sexually transmitted disease, and it is not contagious. Research has indicated that Endometriosis is hereditary.