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What Is Endometriosis?

by | Posted on September 30, 2020

Tamer Seckin, MDOne of my patients, Lauren*, was thirteen years old when she first began experiencing debilitating periods. Her friends were going through the same changes brought on by puberty, but their pain did not appear to be as severe. Lauren could barely get out of bed. When she did, there was no guarantee that she would be able to walk to the next room.

Her school nurse told her that eating breakfast would make everything better.

Her doctor suggested that she “play more.”

At least one other physician insisted that the pain was all in her mind.

As years went by and the symptoms worsened, several more doctors misdiagnosed her with various diseases.

From the age of eighteen until she was about thirty, the pain continued to grip her life. From the moment Lauren awoke each morning, the simplest tasks—getting out of bed, showering, getting into her car—were insufferably difficult. Walking through her office was a genuine test of agility and endurance. When she returned home each evening, she could barely function, let alone be intimate with her husband. Severe headaches kicked in. It was too much to tolerate.

What Lauren had all of those years was a classic case of endometriosis.
Endometriosis causes pelvic pain in reproductive-age women and adolescent girls. It is associated with heavy menstrual periods, clotted flow, gastrointestinal symptoms, fertility problems, and a significant loss of quality of life.

The disease, I believe, can be genetic. If your mother had it, you are more likely to have it, which would mean the chances of your children having it would be increased even more.

Endometriosis affects an estimated 176 million women worldwide. Click here to learn more about the symptoms of endometriosis.

The Doctor Will See You Now: Recognizing and Treating Endometriosis

*Lauren’s story is featured in The Doctor Will See You Now; Recognizing and Treating Endometriosis, Dr. Tamer Seckin (Turner Publishing, 2016)

Disclaimer: All content is for informational purposes only and not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the guidance of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding endometriosis, or any other medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor, go to the nearest hospital emergency department, or call the emergency services immediately. The site and its content are provided on an "as is" basis.


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