ERC Girl Talk Educating Teens about Endometriosis A Program of the Endometriosis Research Center
What is Endometriosis? • Endometriosis , also known as Endo, is a disease the effects many girls and women. Every month when a girl has their menstrual cycle , fragments of the tissue that lines the uterus remain within the body instead of leaving during menstruation. The tissue implants itself in other parts of the body, most commonly in the reproductive organs.
Symptoms • Period Pain • Pelvic or abdominal pain during cycle • Infertility or miscarriage pregnancy • Allergies common around period • Family history of endometriosis • Bladder pain or discomfort
Treatment • Early intervention and effective therapies. • Surgical/Medical • Therapy • Certain diet, nutrition steps, and exercise • Limiting exposure to toxins • Pain Medication • Hysterectomy
How to live with Endo • Keep a pain journal: this is an easy way to track your symptoms. You can review your journal with your healthcare provider to help “map” your pain daily experiences. Keep notes on when pain and symptoms occurred, what you were doing at the time, how your diet was that day, and other relevant information. A simple way to note your pain levels is on a scale of 1-10, with 1 being minimal and 10 being the most severe. Detail other symptoms, like bleeding, stomach pain, bladder issues, etc. so you have a comprehensive review. Chart in your journal at least every other day – and include days when you feel good and have no symptoms. • Talk to your nurse or counselor - or even a trusted couch or academic advisor. Explain what you’re going through and seek guidance from these trusted professionals. Often, those around us understand better if they know what’s going on. • If you are going away to school, or are already away, make sure you have copies of your medical records and insurance cards. Find out where the campus health center is and what services they offer. Ask in particular if anyone at the center has experience with endometriosis. Find out the closest hospital in case you need it, and find a local gynecologist to manage your care while you are away from home. • Pain in social settings can be very difficult. You don’t need to be embarrassed, however. Let your friends know what you are dealing with and although it may be hard, try not to let your symptoms rule your life. If you are having a rough day (or week), encourage your friends to get together at your home or dorm room instead of going out. Planning in advance when possible can also help you stay involved in activities. • If you have to cancel activities or miss class or work, try to take it all in stride. Be honest with those involved and offer an explanation. Dealing with chronic pelvic pain can be stressful and upsetting, so do let those around you know what you’re coping with. You may even discover others in your circle who are also dealing with the disease. • Don’t try to overdo it. Understanding your pain thresholds and symptom triggers can help you manage and adapt accordingly.
Tips! • Make sure you are getting enough sleep at night. • Eat healthy meals and nutritious snacks each day. • Light exercise – when you can. • Do the things you enjoy when you feel well enough to do them! • Stay in touch with your friends in person, by phone, or online so you don’t feel “disconnected.” • Keep up with schoolwork, so you won’t get overwhelmed or fall behind. • Learn when you can push yourself – and when you can’t.
What if I think I have Endometriosis? TALK ABOUT IT! Support is one of the most important components of living well with any chronic illness. To know you are not alone and to share with others who relate can be very helpful. For help and information concerning endometriosis, visit: www.endogirltalk.org GirlTalk is a program of the Endometriosis Research Center. This educational presentation is brought to you by the Endometriosis Research Center’s GirlTalk Program. By Madison Morino & Sierra Lowe
Contact the ERC For more information, please contact the ERC at: Endometriosis Research Center 630 Ibis Drive / Delray Beach, FL 33444 Ph: (561) 274-7442 / Fax: (561) 274-0931 Email: AskERC@endocenter.org GirlTalk Internet Address: http://www.endogirltalk.org Main Internet Address: http://www.endocenter.org Facebook: www.facebook.com/endorescenter Twitter: www.twitter.com/endorescenter