No one knows exactly what causes endometriosis. Many myths and misconceptions have come to light over the years. To clear the air, here are a few myths and truths when it comes to endometriosis

  • MYTH
    #1
    It is NORMAL to have pain during your period so severe that it limits your life.
    TRUTH
    Many women experience pain during their menstrual cycle. It is NOT normal to experience any discomfort that decreases your quality of life. The problem may be due to endometriosis or several other women's health issues. If the pain interferes with your day-to-day life and activities, it is NOT normal. See your Gynecologists to determine the cause of your problem.
  • MYTH
    #2
    When you have endometriosis, you only have pain with your period.
    TRUTH
    Women experience endometriosis-associated pain:

    • Before a menstrual cycle • During a menstrual cycle • During intercourse • During a bowel movement • While urinating

    The pain can be occasional or constant and vary from minor discomfort to severe pain.
  • MYTH
    #3
    Endometriosis is most common among Caucasian women.
    TRUTH
    For many years, physicians believed that this problem only existed in Caucasian women. For years this created a lack of care for African American women. Today, we understand that endometriosis can cause pain regardless of race.
  • MYTH
    #4
    Women under the age of 18 DO NOT suffer from endometriosis
    TRUTH
    Many believe that a diagnosis of endometriosis puts an end to the dream of conceiving a child. This is NOT true. Statistics do not exist on the exact percentage of infertile women with endometriosis. Fertility problems can increase with the disease's severity. Of the women diagnosed with endometriosis 60-70% experience infertility (Wood/Guidone/Hummelshoj, 2016). Many of those that experience infertility do go on to conceive.
  • MYTH
    #5
    Endometriosis ends your ability to become pregnant
    TRUTH
    Often women aged 30-50 are the ones seeking treatment for endometriosis-related pain. Many other age groups were not believed to suffer from endometriosis. Gynecologists are better able to visualize inside a woman's body using a laparoscope. This has increased earlier detection and diagnosis of endometriosis (Rebecca J Craig, 2020). Teens were not studies for endometriosis diagnosis until the mid-1980s. These studies did not catch the attention of practitioners until the '90s.
  • MYTH
    #6
    Pregnancy CURES endometriosis
    TRUTH
    During pregnancy, a woman's body produces different levels of hormones. As with hormonal drug therapy, this can reduce endometriosis symptoms. This is not a cure the disease. Most of the time, the symptoms recur after a child's birth within the first few menstrual cycles.
  • MYTH
    #7
    Surgery CURES endometriosis
    TRUTH
    Your gynecologist will remove some of the tissue causing pain during laparoscopic surgery. This surgery can decrease the amount of pain but will not eradicate the disease.
  • MYTH
    #8
    Hysterectomy is the only CURE for endometriosis
    TRUTH
    The definition of endometriosis is "endometrial-like tissue found outside the uterus." Removing the uterus and/or ovaries is helpful. If the tissue causing pain is not removed, the patient will continue to experience pain.
  • MYTH
    #9
    Endometriosis is a psychological issue, not a physiological disease
    TRUTH
    A patient's "emotional state" cannot cause endometriosis. Often women who experience chronic pain and infertility experience emotional distress. These emotions are often a symptom of the disease, not the cause of the disease.
  • MYTH
    #10
    My ultrasound showed I have endometriosis
    TRUTH
    To rule out other uterine health issues your physician will request an ultrasound. This ultrasound cannot see endometriosis. A laparoscopy or laparotomy (surgery) is the only definitive way to diagnose endometriosis. This surgery includes a small incision to remove tissue. The tissue is then sent to the lab for review and diagnosis. Your surgeon can also visualize a diagnosis during the surgery.
  • MYTH
    #11
    My ultrasound showed I have endometriosis
    TRUTH
    To rule out other uterine health issues your physician will request an ultrasound. This ultrasound cannot see endometriosis. A laparoscopy or laparotomy (surgery) is the only definitive way to diagnose endometriosis. This surgery includes a small incision to remove tissue. The tissue is then sent to the lab for review and diagnosis. Your surgeon can also visualize a diagnosis during the surgery.
References
Rebecca J Craig, M. (2020). 8 Endometriosis Myths and a Couple Truths. Retrieved from McLeod Health: https://www.mcleodhealth.org/blog/8-endometriosis-myths-couple-truths/
Wood/Guidone/Hummelshoj. (2016, November 20). Myths and misconceptions in endometriosis. Retrieved from Endometriosis.org: http://endometriosis.org/resources/articles/myths/
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