Endometriosis Awareness

Endo Awareness RibbonSometimes it takes a celebrity to shine a spotlight on a medical condition to raise awareness about it. In this case it is 20-year-old Julianne Hough, dancing with the stars dancer, and country-recording artist who has her fans and people of all ages chattering about “endometriosis”. According to Julianne’s blog, she has been suffering from “more than just a tummy ache”. She admits that she has been “too busy to get it checked” until the pain was so bad she needed to be rushed to the hospital. Julianne disclosed to her fans that she is recuperating from laprascopic surgery (for her endometriosis) this week. Apparently she had a ruptured a cyst on her ovary, most likely an endometrioma (a mass that is made up of shreds of tissue from the lining of the uterus). It isn’t cancer but it is a serious condition that requires immediate medical attention.

So, what is the take away message here? Endometriosis was thought to be a condition that only affected adult women. We know better now- endometriosis, pronounced, “end-o-me-tree-o-sis” can affect girls of all ages. In fact, Julianne believes she’s had endometriosis since she was 15 because she’s had pain since then. Girls with a family history like Julianne (her mom and sister have endo) are more likely to have it. Most girls have mild cramps or pelvic pain during their menstrual cycle but it’s not normal if you have unexplained pelvic pain during most of your cycle, or really bad menstrual cramps that causes you to miss a lot of school and social events. You could have endometriosis or there could be other medical reasons for your symptoms. Doctors still don’t know the exact cause of endometriosis so if you have symptoms it is important to see a gynecologist (doctor who has had special training in women’s health).

Treatment can make a huge difference in improving the quality of your life, not only to control your symptoms but also to make sure that the endometriosis doesn’t progress and cause problems with infertility later.

The CYWH team would like to wish Julianne Hough a speedy recovery. We look forward to seeing her again on “Dancing with the Stars” when she is feeling better!”