Hey fam!

First let’s start with, what the heck is endometriosis. Endometriosis happens when tissue similar to the lining of the uterus grows outside of the uterus and on other areas in the body where it doesn’t belong.

Endometriosis growths may swell and bleed in the same way the lining inside of the uterus does every month — during one’s menstrual period. Ouch. This can cause swelling and incredible pain because the tissue grows 

and bleeds in an area where it cannot easily get out of your body. In addition to debilitating pain and bleeding in between menstrual cycles, endometriosis can also cause pain during intercourse, GI issues, and most commonly infertility. How? Well, patches of endometriosis block off or actually change the shape of the pelvis and reproductive organs. This can make it harder for the sperm to find the egg. Once fertilization occurs, the immune system, which normally helps defend the body against disease, attacks the embryo.

Because these are vague symptoms that present as other conditions, endometriosis is often misdiagnosed for many uterine carrying bodies. It occurs most often in folks ages 30-40 (but can definitely present earlier), whose menstrual cycle lasts longer than 7 days, and there is evidence that there is a genetic component.

Why is it important for you to know this? If you know and love someone who presents with some of these symptoms and/or who has a family history of Endo, share this information with them. A confirmed diagnosis could be the key to resolving years/decades of life altering symptoms. I also want to call in more empathy for menstruating folks who have such painful and long lasting cycles, that their life literally stops for weeks at a time. Hopefully with more research we can find a definitive cause and cure for Endometriosis.

With Gratitude, 

Doula Jo