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15 Reasons It's Hard To Diagnose Endometriosis

For any of the "unlucky ones" dealing with painful menstruation and a GI tract that causes them grief. Heavy bleeding, trouble with fertility whether it's getting or staying with child, and pain like the devil was dancing on their pelvis with nails on the bottom of those dancing shoes.

Sound familiar?

The truth of the matter is that women who suffer like this aren't just one of the "unlucky ones" and they don't have to just push through the pain. These types of symptoms are extreme, not intrinsic to the life of being female.

So many girls and women have had the "unlucky" sermon preached to them. It's bologna, so don't believe it.

Endometriosis is one of the most difficult diseases to be diagnosed. It runs rampant across the U.S. and other nations alike. Women are finding that they have to visit their doctors time and time again in order to get a correct diagnosis. Why all the trouble, though?

First off, let's break down this long-term disease. Endometriosis happens when endometrium (pieces of the uterus) grow where they shouldn't. The most common places for it to occur is in the ovaries, fallopian tubes, in the pelvis behind the uterus, and even in places like the bowels or bladder. It can even manifest in other organs, like the lungs, as well.

Like it's mentioned above, it's proving difficult to diagnose. Most of the time women are told simply to "tough it out" or that it's just natural pain. A lot of women take on the research themselves and have more success self-diagnosing then educating their doctor.

Here are 15 reasons why it's hard to diagnose endometriosis.

15 Doctors Don't Take Their Patient Seriously

Maybe you carry a rabbit's foot around with you or wear your lucky shirt on game-day. Perhaps you think all of that hocus-pocus is bogus and wouldn't be caught dead with a animal paw on your person. No matter which way your pendulum swings, this "you're just unlucky" nonsense has become a common response coming from doctors regarding undiagnosed endometriosis.

No one is claiming to be divine or even Mother Nature here, but science is science, and luck shouldn't be the basis of any medical diagnosis.

So, we're here to call out this ridiculous diagnosis for what it is - bologna. You're not unlucky or lucky, there is a medical issue at hand that needs to be addressed. It would do well for your "unlucky" diagnosing doctor to remember that.

14 Endometriosis Causes So Many Other Health Problems

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One misconception of endometriosis is that it is only experienced in the pelvic area. The problem with this line of thinking is that it's wrong. Although endometriosis is a disease which is primarily contained in the pelvic area, there's much more to it than that.

We should say that unfortunately there is much more to it than that. If only it affected one area of the body it would be much easier to handle.

Endometriosis is basically the result of an immune system gone bad. In fact, diseases such as asthma and eczema are often dealt with in a patient before endometriosis has even crossed anyone's mind.

Many doctors and patients alike simply overlook that the underlying cause (a weakened immune system) could be causing a more serious problem than simply a respiratory infection.

13 Doctor Believing The Symptoms Are Psycho-Somatic

When you have endometriosis, the pain IS in your head. Not literally, of course. But the pain you feel in the rest of your body is on your mind all the time. It can cause stress headaches and mental fatigue just the same as any other physical issue people worry about.

What we're talking about with this excuse is that doctors have been reported as telling women that their symptoms are in their head. Basically saying that their symptoms are all a figment of their imagination. You don't really hurt. You're just making it up for attention.

If you're are seeing nothing but red at this point in the post then that's a good thing. These kind of diagnoses are not to be tolerated. Women who deal with pain are not crazy or making it up - they hurt and need help and support as well as a proper diagnosis.

12 Symptoms Can Start At A Young Age

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Girls as young as nine years old have been diagnosed with endometriosis. Many times it is a disease, like many other diseases, that simply runs in the family. Genetics do play a role in this unwelcome disease.

Rather than waiting until 10 or more years down the road after a diagnosis has painstakingly been reached, why not pay attention to the symptoms sooner. In reality, diagnosing endometriosis earlier could help girls and young women to treat it.

After a decade of dealing with endo has passed, treating it becomes more difficult. If we could focus our medical providers more on prevention rather than treatment, symptoms in young women wouldn't go unnoticed. Prevention doesn't create as much jingle-jangle in pockets like treatment does, though.

11 Insurance Companies Don't Want To Pay For Diagnosing Procedures

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The most accurate way to diagnose endometriosis is by a doctor performing a minor surgical procedure known as a laparoscopy. During this procedure, your doctor will make a small incision near your navel. Through this incision he or she will insert a small fiberoptic instrument to view your organs. With this in-depth view of your internals, a doctor can quickly see if indeed you are dealing with endometriosis.

This all sounds great, right? Well, it is an accurate procedure with which to diagnose. The only problem is that no one wants to pay for it.

Managed care is actively discouraging laparoscopies to diagnose and treat endometriosis because they don't want to pay for them. This may not surprise you at all or maybe you're simply shaking your head in disbelief. Either way, this reason for misdiagnosis stinks!

10 Endometriosis Is Often Treated With Birth Control

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You've heard the story before of women who go to the doctor for pelvic pain and come away from the doctor's office with a purse full of birth control pills. It's pretty common. Maybe these little pills truly do need to come in a Pez dispenser.

While birth control does tend to help either eliminate or manage a lot of pelvic pain, it's not always the answer. For instance, ruptured ovarian cysts can be controlled with birth control. They are cysts on women's ovaries that burst during ovulation and are very painful.

Unfortunately these cysts are very common. Many doctors point a guilty finger at them and toss a handful of pills your way. The issue lies in the fact that endometriosis isn't the same as ruptured ovarian cysts and the treatment isn't the same either.

9 Doctors Blame Pain On Women's Diet

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You're guilty. I'm guilty. We're all guilty of eating foods that aren't necessarily good for us. The sweets, salty, and high-fats food do tend to hit the right spot during PMS or your cycle. These are the same foods that can worsen our PMS symptoms and the way we feel.

Sometimes, when women go to see their doctors for endometriosis related issues, all blame is cast to their diets. Granted, these women need to have their diets addressed if they are tulle eating poorly, but that shouldn't be the end of the diagnosis.

There is such a wide-range of symptoms that can accompany endometriosis. In turn, the foods we eat can also cause our bodies to respond in a variety of ways. You can see where the mix-up could happen.

8 Pain During Intercourse

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While pain during penetrative intercourse is a common symptom of endometriosis, it's often overlooked. Many other things could be the culprit of painful intercourse. More times than not when a women goes to the doctor with this listed as a top symptom, endometriosis isn't the go-to diagnosis.

Urinary tract infections, skin irritations, hormonal changes (as during menopause), and many other issues could be causing intercourse pain. Usually another cause is diagnosed when in reality endometriosis is the bad guy in this situation.

If you feel that your doctor has overlooked a possible endometriosis diagnosis because of such a common symptom as painful intercourse, press the issue or go visit another doctor. There is no reason to give up simply because someone overlooked a symptom.

7 Doctors Misunderstand The Symptoms

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Yes, you read that right. One woman was told she was doing too many sit-ups and exercising too vigorously. She was told her endometriosis pain was because she was in shape.

Feel free to insert a big ole OMG right here.

The doctor went on to explain that her pain was all muscular. Even after going into great details about how muscles heal and repair themselves after a workout, the diagnosis was a bunch of blah, blah, blah...

For those of you who have experienced both muscular pain and pelvic pain, there is an incredibly defined difference. Perhaps the women who aren't in complete tune with their bodies could mistake one for the other, but that would be a rarity.

6 Mistaking Endo For IBS

Mistaking endometriosis for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common enough mistake. Doctors do it all the time, and many women accept this diagnosis because it does partially make sense. Many of the symptoms are the same across both long-term diseases.

For instance, IRS is a common disorder that affects the large intestine (colon). Irritable bowel syndrome commonly causes cramping, abdominal pain, bloating, gas, diarrhea and constipation. These same symptoms can often be seen in a person suffering from  endometriosis.

With endometriosis also comes an array of allergic reactions. These can commonly manifest as intentional problems. So, you can see how a quick glance at this intestinal issue could be improperly diagnosed.

5 Doctors Don't Have Time To Connect The Dots

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Most times collecting all the information from a patient is very time consuming. Putting the pieces together to create a well-informed diagnosis takes a lot of energy and a lot of effort. With so many patients per doctor, not a lot of doctors can actually the the time to connect the dots, if you will.

Granted, this is a generalization of doctors geared towards exposing the misdiagnosis of endometriosis. Not all doctors rush through exams or throw a random diagnosis out there for their patients to accept.

It is a shameful statistic that so many women are reporting that they are having to visit their doctor 10, 15, and even 25 times before he or she will pay close enough attention to diagnose endometriosis properly.

4 Endo Infertility Is Usually Diagnosed As 'Simple Infertility'

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Infertility can be a very emotionally painful situation to experience. Many women resort to seeking help with conception via fertility treatments. So, infertility not only brings the anxiety from not knowing if you'll ever get pregnant, but also the added stress of dealing with fertility treatments. In short, it can be a very challenging experience.

While endometriosis may not directly cause infertility, it doesn't help either. Women with moderate to severe endometriosis may have scarring that can prevent the egg from entering the fallopian tube. It's clear to see that endometriosis impairs fertility. It doesn't always prevent conception, but it can make it difficult.

Unfortunately, it can be overlooked as a contributing factor to infertility.

Women with fertility issues are being neglected by their doctors (in terms of the endometriosis diagnosis) because doctors are casting blame elsewhere. PCOS, pelvic inflammatory disease, and age are common causes for infertility. Endometriosis is another cause that is more common now  than ever.

3 Endometriosis Causes Painful Bowel Movements

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Not a lot of us would admit that we so much enjoy bowel movements as we do appropriate them. Sometimes women experience painful bowel movements. Of course, these types are neither enjoyed or appreciated. No, painful bowel movements are simply a pain in the butt...literally!

Many times (up to 70%), endometriosis spreads to the bowels. Growths may appear on any part of the intestines causing severe discomfort. In some cases, it causes the bowels to be stuck to other structures such as the ovaries, uterus, or pelvic sidewall.

Much like infertility, painful bowel movements shouldn't be taken at face value. The underlying cause is often endometriosis. The disease affects so much more of the body than simply the reproductive organs.

2 The Pain Is Natural

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You've heard the idiom that life is pain. To a certain extent this may be true. For instance, disappointments occur, deaths are suffered, and conflicts arise. These sorts of events do cause us grief and can be despairing. There is also the truth-filled words, "This too shall pass." Extreme pain wasn't meant to be forever and it's in no way natural.

I've not met many (okay, no one) women who enjoy that time of the month. Your period can be uncomfortable and you may even experience cramps or PMS. These things are all categorized on the No Fun list.

While some discomfort does come with your menstrual cycle, debilitating pain should not. If you're experiencing this type of pain and being told it's natural, don't believe it.

1 Stress Is Blamed For The Pain

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Maybe you've heard this common diagnosis before, because it IS dished out a lot. While it's true in some cases, others cases are not so easily diagnosed. Stress does cause a lot of issue with our bodies. There's no doubt about that.

Like other common symptoms this one can't be taken lightly. Most people do live a fast-paced, busy lifestyle which brings on a lot of unwanted stress. Our bodies react to this stress in ways that mirror many of the symptoms of endometriosis.

Some of these symptoms may include digestive problems, pelvic pain, chronic fatigue, and many more symptoms. If you think that your stress diagnosis isn't telling the whole story then push for another visit to your doctor.

Sources: American Pregnancy, Babycenter, Mayo Clinic

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