About one in ten women are affected by endometriosis, but many don't even know they have it. That means that the debilitating pain that one study shows can account for 11 hours of lost productivity per week might go unchecked for years and years. In fact, women with endometriosis experienced an average delay of up to twelve years from symptom onset until they were finally diagnosed and treated. For those of us who are busy caring for loved ones while managing all of our other responsibilities, that practically amounts to a lifetime of lost time.
One of the reasons why it often takes so long for women to be diagnosed with endometriosis is because, at present, the only reliable and definitive method of diagnosis is having a laparoscopy and biopsy of the tissue performed, which is an expensive and invasive procedure. However, by discussing your symptoms with your healthcare provider, you should be able to either rule out the disease or decide that it may be time to consider the diagnostic surgery. Some common symptoms and warning signs can be found here.
Although there's no cure for endometriosis, a positive diagnosis does mean the road to treatment can begin. There are a variety of hormone therapies available for women with endometriosis, and surgery might also be an option. By discussing every possibility with your doctor, you can find the one that will best help you to feel like yourself again.
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