Not just cramps


Jason Eugene

SYMBOLIC: Adenomyosis Awareness Month is represented by a purple and yellow ribbon. During March, Endometriosis Awareness Month is signified by a yellow ribbon.

Dafany Miranda-Zepeda, Managing Editor

Three days before the 2022 Grammys was held Halsey, an American singer, had endometriosis surgery. In 2016, she was diagnosed with endometriosis and opened up about her diagnosis with her fans.

β€œI was recently diagnosed after years of suffering and finding myself doubled over backstage in the middle of my sets, or fighting back tears on an airplane, or even being in so much pain I would vomit or faint,” said Halsey on Twitter.Β 

According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, β€œendometriosis happens when tissue similar to the lining of the uterus grows outside of your uterus and in other areas in your body where it doesn’t belong.” 

The World Endometriosis Society states, β€œEndometriosis affects an estimated 1 in 10 women during their reproductive years, which is approximately 176 million women in the world.”

Although millions of women are affected by endometriosis, getting a diagnosis for it can take over seven years.Β 

β€œThe only way to really 100% let someone know that they have endometriosis is surgery,” said Jenneh Rishe, founder of The Endometriosis Coalition in an interview with Anthony Padilla on β€œI spent a day with people w/ ENDOMETRIOSIS.” 

The pain experienced when you have endometriosis is different for the person and can be described in multiple ways.Β 

Rishe said, β€œit’s hard to think about anything else when you’re in that much pain.” 

She said that it had gotten to a point where β€œI was taking like 800 of Ibuprofen just to start my day.” 

While endometriosis is not as clearly seen as if someone had a broken leg, ABC News states it is as common as asthma and diabetes.Β 

Endometriosis may be common but according to Endometriosis UK, β€œ54% of people do not know what endometriosis is, increasing to 74% of men.” 

When getting diagnosed Morgahna Godwin, a designer and writer said, β€œI think that’s something that most people with endometriosis go through is that moment where they’re not insane that all of these hospital trips, being looked at crazy are all of a sudden valid.” 

This is why it is so important that we listen to stories like Halsey, Rishe, and Godwin because it allows us to understand and become aware of endometriosis.Β 

When we see someone with a broken arm most of us don’t assume the person is lying about their pain so why invalidate the pain that someone goes through when they have endometriosis?Β 

Many have experienced cramps during their period, however, when that pain prevents you from continuing your daily activities it is not something we should ignore.Β 

β€œWe need to move away from normalizing uterine pain. Periods shouldn’t be debilitating or cause lost time from work or schoolβ€”it is not natural to have severe pelvic pain,” said Dr. Samantha DeLuca, an Obstetrician-Gynecologist.Β 

Silent diseaseΒ 

According to Healthline, “In adenomyosis, the endometrial tissue that lines the uterus grows into the muscle of the uterus. This condition makes the uterine walls thicker and distorts the vasculature (blood vessels), which can lead to heavy, prolonged, and painful periods.”

Gabrielle Union, an actress who has starred in films like Bring it On, spoke about her fertility issues and how it relates to her adenomyosis diagnosis.

“Because everyone had, sort of, chalked it up to you’re a career woman, you prioritized your career, you waited too long, and now you are just too old to have a kid, and that’s on you for wanting a career. The reality is I actually have adenomyosis,” said Union in the #BlogHer18.

“Adenomyosis is kind ofΒ  similar toΒ  endometriosis: a lot of women have it, but a lot of them don’t have symptoms,” said Dr. Lisa Dabney, an obstetrician-gynecologist.

None of us should have to wait ten years to get a diagnosis and have to cycle through gynecologists.

We should start bringing awareness to period-related issues such as endometriosis and adenomyosis.Β 

Let us throw away the misconceptions about pelvic pain by beginning to listen to our bodies and how we feel.Β 

Padma Lakshmi, a writer and co-founder of the Endometriosis Foundation of America said, ” I hope by the time my daughter is an adult there is a cure or at least accessible treatment that is covered by insurance so women worldwide don’t have to suffer in silence like I and millions and millions and millions of women do.”