Emmy winner Amy Schumer, known from films like "I Feel Pretty" or "Dating Queen", speaks openly about her experiences with endometriosis. She describes the disease as lonely - because she felt that many doctors and her environment did not take her decades of pain seriously. Pelvic pain is often considered normal in women and the suffering is experienced as dramatic, according to the actress.
The result: the disease is often only recognised after a long time. This was also the case for Ms Schumer. She finally underwent a hysterectomy and appendectomy in 2021, which led to immediate improvement. "I feel like a new person," said Schumer.
Many millions of women around the world feel the same way as Ms Schumer. They feel misunderstood and are dismissed as hysterical, hypochondriacal or dramatic. The problem is that the disease is often underestimated and undiagnosed.
There is a lack of awareness of this chronic condition, even though it affects about 10% of all women of childbearing age worldwide. Most are diagnosed in their 30s or 40s - often after decades of pain.
Everyone should be aware that chronic pain is not normal. And yet, women often dismiss the suffering as natural and part of their menstrual cycle. But a pain that interferes with quality of life is not acceptable for anyone. Endometriosis patients often suffer from pelvic pain, during urination or bowel movements, as well as bleeding, nausea and fatigue. Involuntary childlessness is also part of the clinical picture.
In the case of chronic symptoms, endometriosis should definitely be considered. It is important to clarify the symptoms in detail and to confirm or exclude any suspicion. This is the only way to initiate therapy early enough and treat any symptoms. A pain history can provide the first clues into a case.
You can play an active role in preventing or shortening a long pain exposure of your endometriosis patients. Chronic pain is not part of being a woman or part of the cycle. About one in ten women in your practice suffers from endometriosis - that's more than you might suspect.
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