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March is Endometriosis Awareness Month

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Gov. Tom Wolf has signed a proclamation declaring March 2020 as Endometriosis Awareness Month, and the state Senate is scheduled to pass a resolution, sponsored by Sen. Steve Santarsiero, declaring the same on March 17.

Endometriosis is a disease that affects approximately 1 in 10 women and people born biologically female worldwide. Endometriosis is a disease where tissue that is similar to the lining of the uterus grows outside the uterus.

It has been found in infants and after menopause, in and around the intestines, diaphragm, lungs and even the brain. The amount of pain caused is not based on the size or amount of endometriosis present. Since it is merely tissue, it cannot be seen on imaging tests, and can currently only be conclusively diagnosed through surgery.

It is a lifelong, full body disease without a cure, and the gold standard for treatment is excision surgery by a knowledgeable surgeon.

These declarations are the work of Eastern PA Endometriosis Support Network founder Rachel Leach. She founded this online-based support group after her diagnosis in 2015.

“I have experienced symptoms since I was 12 years old,” Leach said. “After my initial diagnosis, I really struggled to find doctors who were knowledgeable about the best treatments, pelvic floor therapy for pelvic floor dysfunction, and pain management methods. I created this support group so no one would have to feel like they were suffering alone.”

All of March, Leach is wearing yellow to draw attention to this serious chronic disease that affects 200 million people worldwide.

The Eastern PA Endometriosis Support Network can be found on Facebook, by following @easternpaendo on Instagram, or by visiting easternpaendo.org.


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