Support, Educate, Advocate: Facts about Women’s Health Issues

by Brandi Lytle
Photo of a purple stethoscope on Support, Educate, Advocate: Facts about Women's Health Issues on Not So Mommy..., an infertility and childless blog

The purpose of Not So Mommy… is to support, educate, and advocate for the infertility and childless not by choice communities.  (You can learn more about that here.)  Because of this, I research women’s health issues and have gathered quite a bit of information over the past two and a half years.

Because it is Endometriosis Awareness Month, and I am an endo warrior, I thought it was an appropriate time to share some of the information I’ve discovered.  All facts and data below were found on legitimate, trustworthy websites.  Though I am a language person, holding a Master of English, who believes strongly in crediting sources, I (unfortunately) have not kept documentation of where I found all my endometriosis, adenomyosis, PCOS, fertility/infertility, and pregnancy & infant loss facts.  For that, I do apologize.

Because I believe that this is valuable information that the wider community needs to be aware of, however, I decided to go ahead and share these important facts about women’s health issues…

Facts about Women’s Health Issues

Facts about Endometriosis…

  • March is Endometriosis Awareness Month.
  • The Endometriosis Awareness Ribbon is yellow.
  • Endometriosis was discovered in 1860–160 years ago.
  • 1 in 10 women suffer from endometriosis, or endo.
  • That’s 176 million women and girls worldwide.
  • Yet, only about 20% of the general public has heard of endometriosis.
  • With endometriosis, the lining of the uterus grows outside the womb.
  • It takes approximately 10 years to be properly diagnosed with endometriosis.
  • The average age at which women are diagnosed with endometriosis is 27.
  • 68% of women with endometriosis were initially misdiagnosed with another illness.
  • The only way to 100% accurately diagnose endometriosis is through laparoscopic surgery.
  • 82% of women with endo are, at times, unable to carry out day-to-day activities because of their illness.
  • The severity of endo does not correlate with the amount of a pain a woman is in.
  • Endometriosis is associated with an increased risk of various cancers.
  • Women with endo are 1.52 times more likely to have a heart attack than women without endo.
  • Women with endo are more likely to suffer from migraines.
  • Back pain is a symptom of endo.
  • Sadness / Depression is a symptom of endo.
  • Fatigue is a symptom of endo.
  • Bloating is a symptom of endo.
  • Painful periods are a symptom of endo.
  • Pain during ovulation is a symptom of endo.
  • Pain during sex is a symptom of endo.
  • Hormonal imbalance is a symptom of endo.
  • Infertility is a symptom of endo.
  • Endo belly, a symptom of endometriosis, is a bloated belly that is, at best, embarrassing, and at worst, painful.
  • Thoracic Endo is a rare form of endometriosis in which endometrial tissue is found in and/or around the lungs.
  • 33% of lung collapses in women are due to thoracic endometriosis.
  • Endometriosis canNOT be prevented.
  • Pregnancy does NOT cure endometriosis.
  • Menopause does NOT cure endometriosis.
  • A hysterectomy does NOT cure endometriosis.
  • There is NO cure for endometriosis.
  • Endometriosis is a medical condition, a disease, a chronic illness.

Facts about Adenomyosis…

  • April is Adenomyosis Awareness Month.
  • The Adenomyosis Awareness Ribbon is purple and yellow.
  • With adenomyosis (or adeno), the endometrial lining grows deep inside the muscle wall of the uterus, thickening it.
  • Heavy menstrual bleeding is a symptom of adeno.
  • Severe cramping is a symptom of adeno.
  • Chronic pelvic pain is a symptom of adeno.
  • Pelvic pressure is a symptom of adeno.
  • An enlarged uterus is a symptom of adeno.
  • A tender abdomen is a symptom of adeno.
  • Adenomyosis is often misdiagnosed as uterine fibroids.
  • The only cure for adenomyosis is a hysterectomy.

Facts about PCOS…

  • September is PCOS Awareness Month.
  • The PCOS Awareness Ribbon is teal.
  • PCOS stands for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome.
  • PCOS affects at least 20% of women.
  • 50% of women with PCOS go undiagnosed.
  • Excess hair growth is a symptom of PCOS.
  • Acne is a symptom of PCOS.
  • A hysterectomy does NOT cure PCOS.
  • There is NO cure for PCOS.

Remember the trigger warning!

 For those who are infertile, childless, and/or have suffered pregnancy and/or infant loss, you may not want to read the final two sets of facts if you are feeling vulnerable.  For those who have not suffered infertility, childlessness, and/or pregnancy/infant loss, I hope you read these stats in an effort to better understand what our community endures…

Facts about Fertility & Infertility…

  • National Infertility Awareness Week, held by RESOLVE, is in April.
  • The Infertility Awareness Ribbon is orange.
  • PCOS is the leading cause of female infertility.
  • 30-50% of women with endometriosis suffer from infertility, too.
  • A healthy fertile couple only has a 15-20% chance of becoming pregnant each cycle.
  • 66% of women are concerned about their fertility.
  • Yet, only 21% have talked with their doctor about having kids.
  • IVF, or in vitro fertilization, is a type of infertility treatment.
  • In 2016, 75% of IVF treatments failed.
  • IUI, or intrauterine insemination, is a type of infertility treatment.
  • IUI treatments fail 80-90% of the time in women under 35.
  • In women aged 35-40, IUI treatments fail 90% of the time.
  • And in women over 40, IUI treatments fail 95% of the time.
  • 75% of women who pursue treatment to help them get pregnant do not tell their family and friends.
  • 1 in 8 couples struggle with infertility.
  • At least 14% of US women in their early 40s are childless.
  • Relaxing does NOT cure infertility.
  • Infertility is a medical condition.
  • According to the World Health Organization, infertility is a disease.

Facts about Pregnancy & Infant Loss…

  • October is Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Month.
  • October 15 is Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Day.
  • The Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Ribbon is pink and blue.
  • 1 in 4 pregnancies ends in loss.
  • 43% of women who have suffered miscarriage do not tell their friends.

Speak up & Speak Out!

Fabulous ones, let’s break the stigmas.  Let’s break our silence.  We shouldn’t suffer alone.  Let’s speak up and speak out about women’s health issues.

One way I am speaking up & speaking out about women’s health issues…

I am proud to be part of the Pregnantish Verified Network who “represent top voices breaking the taboo of infertility and [are] elevating the conversation of how so many families are built today.”  Though this group includes many who got the little, I believe my childless voice holds a powerful spot in the conversation, showing that the infertility journey does NOT always end with a little in arms…

Fabulous one, if anything I wrote resonates with you, please tell us about it in the comments.
Subscribe to my email and receive monthly newsletters, which include information about what’s happening within the infertility and childless not by choice communities.
Do you appreciate the work I’m doing here at Not So Mommy…?  If so, would you consider making a donation?  Click the image below for more information.
Photo of an olive green heart on "Would you please donate?" on Not So Mommy..., an infertility & childless not by choice blog

Click to learn more…


Featured Photo:  Created by me, using Canva

You may also like

Leave a Comment