The Invisible Illness: Endometriosis Stigma
Overcoming The “You Don’t Look Sick!” Stigma
The debilitating pain caused by the invisible illness, endometriosis, can strain relationships. Women with endometriosis are often seen as unreliable. As an invisible condition, it becomes more difficult over time to explain to teachers or bosses why you are unable to attend class for a few days each month or repeatedly need time off of work.
While the disease itself is unpredictable, it is essential for women to have support to minimize the psychological effects and to seek effective surgical treatment. There are organizations that help women with endometriosis with emotional support and provide educational resources. Endometriosis Foundation of America, Endometriosis Research Center, Endo Support and The Endometriosis Network Canada are groups that focus solely on helping women with endometriosis find the right care, offer support networks, and raise funds for research.
The Invisible Illness: Endometriosis
The invisible disease, endometriosis, affects millions of women. It is invisible because there are no outward indications that a woman is affected by the condition. The primary symptom of endometriosis is searing pelvic pain that often occurs or gets worse with a woman’s menstrual cycle. For some women, as the disease progresses, the pain can be constant.
Many women’s health professionals can be mystified by the arbitrary nature of the disease.
- It runs in some families, but not in all.
- Some women experience severe pain.
- Some women experience abdominal bloating.
- Pregnancy may help temporarily relieve the symptoms for one woman, while another woman cannot get pregnant because endometriosis has ravaged her womb.
- It primarily affects the pelvis, but lesions can spread to almost any area of the body.
Endometriosis causes inflammation and scarring in the pelvic cavity. It is often confused as monthly cramping, and therefore is overwhelmingly dismissed even within many doctor’s offices. Endometriosis is actually a disease apart from monthly period pain, and one that requires a specialist to both diagnose and treat.
Read the full article here| The Invisible Illness: Endometriosis
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