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Women Suffering From Endometriosis Impacted On Several Levels

Monday, September 23rd, 2013

Endometriosis is an incredibly common condition among women, affecting upwards of seventeen percent of the population, but there is little awareness of this condition outside of those who suffer from it. Unlike other debilitating conditions that are cause for concern, as well as sympathy, endometriosis often goes unrecognized among the general population—however, it can have a significant impact on not only a woman’s physical health and wellbeing but her psychological health and her ability to maintain a social life and presence, according to research that has been done over the past few years to determine the impact of this disorder among sufferers.

Endometriosis is characterized by a number of symptoms, from extremely heavy menstrual bleeding to pain both during menstruation and at other times of the month. This is caused by an overgrowth of the uterine lining, which moves beyond the uterus and into other parts of the body, including the abdominal cavity. There is no cure for this disorder, and the primary methods of management include medications and, in certain cases, surgical intervention.

Women who suffer from endometriosis must work closely with their doctor to manage their symptoms, but there is still little that can be done to eliminate the symptoms that she faces entirely. This makes the disorder much more debilitating, especially during menstruation, and may lead to increased anxiety and stress as a result of either dealing with the symptoms, or even simply the anticipation of symptoms.

In this same study, which identified several areas in which women with endometriosis might be affected, it was also pointed out that there must be more research done on the significant impact of this disorder on the partners and children of women who suffer from it. Not surprisingly, it is incredibly stressful for those close to the woman with the disorder to deal with the pain that she must endure and the extra measures that they must take so that their own lives are affected as little as possible by it.

There is a great need of support for women who suffer from endometriosis—that is something that cannot be disputed. However, there is also a great need for the families of women affected by endometriosis to receive support as well. This can be especially difficult for male partners and younger children who do not understand the very real physiological effects of the illness.

The best method of coping is, as always, to raise awareness of the issue and for those affected by it to become educated as much as possible on the disorder. While it can be debilitating, there is no reason that women who suffer from endometriosis, as well as their families, cannot live happy and fulfilled lives. It is not up to the woman alone to cope, nor should it be. By working together with their families, women can ensure a more positive outcome and a higher quality of life.

– Yvonne S. Thornton, M. D., M. P. H.