Endometriosis is a widespread reproductive health condition in which tissue identical to the uterine lining (the endometrium) develops outside of the uterus. It affects around 2 million women, as well as many others who go undetected. However, as more people talk about endometriosis and the devastating effects it has on their physical and emotional health, more services and information become available.
Endometriosis is a mysterious chronic disease. Unfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation about its diagnosis, management, and treatment methods. In this article, we have gathered six common myths about endometriosis that should be addressed.
1. Endometriosis is just “painful periods”
Endometriosis is frequently discussed in terms of painful menstruation, and it’s true that women with endometriosis frequently experience unpleasant periods due to the disease’s hormonal component. Endometriosis, however, is much more than that. It might cause pain all month that intensifies during periods.
Endometriosis symptoms include heavy or irregular bleeding between periods, pain during sex, constipation, diarrhea, vomiting, and urinary dysfunction such as the inability to pass pee or increased urgency.
Endometriosis can also lead to extreme weariness and dizziness. The longer endometriosis is present in the body, the more likely organ damage and malfunction will occur. In addition, many endometriosis patients have infertility and pregnancy loss.
2. You can’t have children if you have endometriosis
Not all cases of endometriosis cause infertility. In fact, the vast majority of women diagnosed with endometriosis will become pregnant spontaneously and without difficulty. However, if you’ve been diagnosed with endometriosis, it’s critical to discuss reproductive options with your doctor, especially if you’ve been trying to conceive for six months or longer.
3. Endometriosis can disappear during pregnancy or menopause
There is no complete cure for endometriosis. Many people used to think that childbearing might cure the condition. But the truth is that endometriosis symptoms are typically relieved by pregnancy hormones and the absence of a period, but they will most likely return after you give birth or cease breastfeeding.
Consequently, menopause also can’t treat endometriosis. After menopause, your body continues to generate low levels of estrogen, which might cause a reaction in pre-existing endometrial lesions. Because these lesions, as well as the pain and symptoms they induce, are not restricted to the reproductive system, the condition can persist.
4. Endometriosis affects only women in their 30s
The age group with the highest incidence of endometriosis has been slightly debated, but most experts agree that women of reproductive age, roughly ages 25-40, are the most commonly affected by the condition. Endometriosis can be diagnosed during adolescence or menopause, but diagnosis before puberty and post-menopause is rare. It is believed that over 70% of all women with endometriosis first had symptoms before the age of 20.
5. Endometriosis can be easily detected
Unfortunately, endometriosis cannot be diagnosed without exploratory laparoscopic surgery. Endometrial lesions cannot be seen with conventional ultrasound, nor can they be seen with a transvaginal ultrasound, which is often the first diagnostic technique indicated by a specialist.
A simple Pap smear will not reveal any abnormalities, making it much more difficult to convince a doctor to refer a patient for the necessary diagnostic laparoscopy. That is why people with endometriosis may suffer for years with severe symptoms before receiving a proper diagnosis.
6. Hysterectomy is a proven cure
Many people think that hysterectomy is a quite certain treatment for endometriosis. Although uterine removal can give comfort to some women with this disease, it is not a cure. Endometriosis symptoms may remain or reappear following a hysterectomy.
When surgeons remove the uterus but leave the ovaries, up to 62 percent of women may continue to have symptoms. Additionally, a hysterectomy can increase the risk of coronary heart disease and dementia. So it is not a one-size-fits-all remedy for endometriosis.