Endometriosis Awareness Month: What is it?

By  | 

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO/KJCT) -- March is endometriosis awareness month, and even though roughly one in ten women will suffer from the condition in their lifetime, many people don't know what endometriosis is.

"Endometriosis is a condition where typically the glandular type tissue that lines the lining of the uterus implants outside the uterus," Dr. Elizabeth McCarrell, an OBGYN at Community Hospital, said.

That means women who have the condition can experience excruciating pain.

"It's that period inside your pelvis that's not supposed to happen that causes that inflammation and pain," Dr. McCarrell said.

The symptoms of endometriosis are generally things like pain during your period, during sex or while pooping, but it's difficult to diagnose.

"The tricky thing about endometriosis is it's not like diabetes where we can just do a blood test to say yes, you have endometriosis, so the diagnosis itself is a little more invasive," Dr. McCarrell said.

To figure out if you have the condition, you have to undergo surgery.

"It's hard to quantify who has it or who doesn't have it because the only way to really know that you have it is to do a diagnostic surgery or a diagnostic laparoscopy," Dr. McCarrell said.

And if you do have it, there's not necessarily a cure.

"The most common place that people start for treatment is with a birth control pill. It's not invasive, it's a medicine that you take everyday, we're not doing to you, but if it's not working sometimes we'll try other modalities," Dr. McCarrell said.

This is a series on endometriosis. Tune in to Daybreak Tuesday, March 12th through the 15th to hear from women who have the condition.