You’ve probably heard me say this before – I cannot believe that endometriosis is still one of the most underdiagnosed women’s diseases and still so misunderstood 10 years after I first learned I had endometriosis in 2007. It’s shocking, but because of this many women are still finding themselves suffering alone behind their smiles thinking that the pain they are feeling is just part of being a woman.
This cannot continue to be the norm.
As women we need to become advocates for ourselves which means questioning everything and everyone until we understand and things make sense. Just because someone is a doctor or even a specialist, doesn’t mean they are necessisarily the best or know as much as you believe they should. Question everything. I believe that is what got me diagnosed faster than other women (on average it can taken 8-10 years for a diagnosis) – “unexplained pelvic pain” did not make sense to me and I would not accept that as an answer. We must take charge of our own health care and we must help each other to do that by supporting each other. Pain is not normal.
I had suffered from painful periods when I was younger, but doctors were so quick to put women on a pill I never questioned it nor had I ever heard of endometriosis. Doctors are still quick to prescribe birth control pills for women to help them with their period regulation and/or pain. Now, I am obviously not a doctor so I don’t know what a gyn learns in school but my guess is that they learn about a TON of different diseases and really only touch on endometriosis. They aren’t specializing in one disease like an endometriosis specialist, but wouldn’t it be helpful if they knew more that could help women reach a diagnosis faster?
The birth control, for me, was really just a band-aid now that I look back on things because when I got off the birth control pill the pain started. If the pain had only been during my period I would have probably just thought I had to “deal” with it because that’s what we are taught right? It’s just part of being a woman and we have to go through pain once a month. Take some Advil and/or Midol and use a heating pad. You might have to miss work or school, but it’s only a day or two and then you can go back to normal. How does this make any sense to live? Every month of missing a day or two of school or work adds up really quickly and especially for someone who may be working without any sick days. This is not a normal way to live and we’ve got to start teaching girls and women this is not normal. I don’t want my daughter to have to go through painful periods or anything that I had to go through if I can help it.
Please don’t get me wrong – I know that birth control pills have helped many women to feel better, but I also know that birth control pills have caused a lot of women a lot of unwanted side effects leaving them to feel absolutely “crazy” and eventually they get off of them thinking they just have to live in pain. We cannot accept this as normal.
Learn as much as you can, join as many FB groups around endometriosis or “Follow” as many on Instagram and QUESTION, QUESTION, QUESTION.