A Crash Course on Endometriosis
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Health and Wellness

A Crash Course on Endometriosis

A Small Guide Based on My Experience

A Crash Course on Endometriosis
Laurie Wang

In short, endometriosis is a disorder where the tissue that typically lines the uterus grows outside the uterus. Blood usually flows through the uterus and out through the vagina, but the blood from the endometrial growths isn't able to leave the body. This causes internal bleeding and inflammation which can then cause pain, fertility problems, issues with bowels, and adhesions.

If you're not already asleep from reading that long description, you must be a good person who either has endometriosis or is genuinely curious. So now let's break down that painful definition, shall we? Endometriosis is a constant annoyance that is most annoying once a month. By saying "most annoying" I mean that there are other times when it gets very annoying. During Aunt Flow's monthly visit, endometriosis causes ungodly pain, stomach problems, and becomes a major distraction from daily life. BOWEL PROBLEMS is in the definition, guys! This is no joke.

This illustrates how my ovaries feel during my cycle.

I'm not exaggerating when I say I would die without my birth control. It's 90% of the reason why I'm able to function on a daily basis, with the other 10% being coffee. Before I went on Camrese (the generic form of Seasonique), I would miss days of school because of my terrible cramps and tummy trouble. Why am I using a euphemism? This is a health article after all. My endometriosis can give me the worst diarrhea known to man, but it can also give me confusing cramps that feel like I need to rush to the bathroom when really it's just my body being a jerk. And if you want to make fun of me having diarrhea I'd like proof that you've never had it before.

These occurrences terrified me in middle school. My periods were irregular at times meaning that I never knew when to expect my tummy trouble, and my constant state of nervousness was less than helpful in this situation. As time went on and I continued missing classes, being distracted, and spending more than one afternoon in bed with a heating pad, I realized this wasn't normal. If every woman on earth went through this much trouble on her period we would get a week off from life every month. It wouldn't be fair otherwise.

So my goddess of a gynecologist gave me my best friend: Camrese. A nice little package filled with hormones to keep me from menastruggling every month. Now I can go about my business for almost a full three months followed by only one misery filled day and then, I'd assume, a few more days of how normal women feel. Not that it's pleasant, but it's a vast improvement compared to my periods before.

So if you see a clammy, uncomfortable girl in class slightly hunched over and she isn't vomiting, you might have seen someone with endometriosis suffering in silence. It's almost like playing Where's Waldo in real life where no one wins. Another major loss for people with endometriosis-- sex can be painful. And if this sex is meant to produce a child, it'll be a lot harder to conceive

Having endometriosis can be discouraging. I've always found it ironic that my reproductive system would like to make it as miserable as possible to just do its job. If I could, I would fire my current reproductive system and hire another, but that's not exactly how anatomy works. Or so I've been told.

The point of all this is that endometriosis is a medical problem. Chronic and constant. It's unavoidable, but it isn't considered appropriate to discuss unlike asthma or a sprained wrist. At least a sprained wrist goes away. It's no joke. If you're reading this because you have it-- you're not alone. If you're reading this because you think you have it-- don't be afraid to talk to a doctor. And, lastly, if you're reading this to understand it better-- thank you. This is based off of my own experience and I can't speak for everyone, but I hope it was helpful.

For more information visit the Endometriosis Association online: http://www.endometriosisassn.org/endo.html

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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