Join me to learn about another way to be a more awesome sonographer than ever before with this 2 part article on what we didn't know about endometriosis.
What we sonographers don’t commonly know about endometriosis is that takes an average of 6-12 years to be diagnosed properly. It affects 10-15% of women and causes infertility in 30-50% of them (See reference here). Endometriosis can have a family history among the women such as mother, sister and female cousins. It is a disease that has a negative effect on lifestyle, work and intimacy and basically causes menstrual periods that prevent women from living a normal life.
Symptoms of endometriosis do vary in severity and can include incredibly painful or heavy periods, pain during intercourse, overwhelming fatigue, severe gastrointestinal symptoms such as frequent and persistent diarrhea, nausea, constipation, bloating, rectal bleeding, proctitis, tenesmus, and colic rectal pain. It can also cause lower urinary tract symptoms such as as well as hematuria, non-microbial cystitis, recurrent urinary tract infections, and dysuria and fertility problems such as infertility or difficulty carrying a pregnancy to term.
It’s important to know that those types of periods ARE NOT NORMAL! Terribly painful periods that affect a woman’s life EVERY month should not be suffered through silently. They are not the way that normal periods should be and every woman has a right to assessment and treatment to help improve and manage their menstrual cycle.
Now this is not widely known, often women are taught that it’s just the way that periods are and nothing can be done. But as part of the healthcare system, we sonographers have the ability to educate ourselves and share that knowledge with others to get the word out there. We can also use this knowledge to ask more penetrating history questions of our patients and assess more thoroughly for any possible signs of endometriosis to help women get diagnosed faster and earlier.
Interested in learning more about how to assess for endometriosis? Then join me for my next blog post where I explain just that.