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What is endometriosis, and where can you find help?

Words by Abi Scaife

It might be a buzzword at the moment - but do you really know what Endometriosis is? If you’re not sure, or you just want to learn a little more, this guide is the one for you.

It’s Endometriosis Awareness Week - and now is the perfect time to learn more about this condition which affects people all over the world. 

Endometriosis is something which can affect anyone with a uterus and, according to Endometriosis UK, around 1.5 million women and those assigned female at birth (AFAB) are currently living with the condition.

What is Endometriosis?

Endometriosis is a condition in which cells normally found in the lining of the womb (the uterus) are found elsewhere in the body. 

These cells act in the same way as those in the uterus every month - and in the uterus, that’s perfect, because it causes a period! 

However, when the cells are located elsewhere, it becomes a problem because the blood that is released has nowhere to escape the body. This internal bleeding leads to inflammation, pain and a build-up of scar tissue.

Endometriosis isn’t contagious and it isn’t an infection - but it can be difficult for people to deal with. 

How is it affecting people?

Endometriosis can cause any number of symptoms, including chronic pain, fatigue, depression and fertility issues. These, in turn, impact other aspects of life - like work, relationships, and your sex life.

Pain is one of the main symptoms you hear of when it comes to Endometriosis - and it can occur during or after sex, as well as during your period. It can also occur during bowel movements.

Where can you find help?

While there is no cure for endometriosis, it’s important to know that there are effective treatments and help available. You can access this help by approaching your GP and healthcare professionals - and there is more information available on how to get diagnosed on the Endometriosis UK website.

Endometriosis is a very personal condition, and there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ treatment - it is something that you must work with your healthcare professionals to discover.

There are also some excellent charities you can turn to to find out more about how endometriosis, and how to live with the condition, including Endometriosis UK and The Endometriosis Foundation.

Charity check-in 

At Smiley Movement, we like to elevate the work of charities across the world. Here are three charities whose causes align with the themes in this article. 

The Fawcett Society. This is the UK's leading charity campaigning for gender equality and women's rights. Support them here.

Gendered Intelligence. This charity works to increase understandings of gender diversity and improve the lives of trans people. Learn more here.

Beyond Equality. This charity is disrupting harmful norms and creating possibilities for positive change, working with men and boys towards gender equality. Find out more here.

This article aligns with the UN SDG Good Health and Wellbeing, Reduced Inequalities, and Gender Equality.

This article aligns with the following UN SDGs

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