Woman living with Endometriosis sheds light on the disease during Endometriosis Awareness Month

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) – The month of March is significant for many women around the world.

The FDA says Endometriosis impacts American women between the ages of 15 and 44. For Christi Mercer, one woman living with the disease, it’s been no different. After being diagnosed at a young age and going through many treatments over the years, endometriosis has impacted not only her life but also her family’s.

“All of it made me feel… obviously not being able to have a baby, not being able to have a successful marriage… I felt less than, I felt like it wasn’t fair,” Mercer says.

Women everywhere are experiencing the impacts of Endometriosis.

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the disease affects more than 11% of American women.

Dr. Jim Whiteside, Obstetrics/Gynecology Expert at Brody School of Medicine and ECU Health, says, “Endometriosis is when the lining of the uterus is in places that it shouldn’t be. So, it could be in the walls of the uterus.”

The symptoms can alter a woman’s menstrual cycle.

“Painful periods, painful intercourse, painful bowel movements, painful voiding,” Whiteside says.

Whiteside also says you can have it and not have symptoms at all. Most treatment for Endometriosis consists of hormone management.

“That could be birth control pills, progesterone is typically a feature of therapy.”

Regardless of what stage in the Endometriosis journey you’re in, Mercer says it’s vital to prioritize your mental health.

“Finding real information, looking for the evidence-based work. Reach out to other women. It’s so much easier to relate to women when they’ve been through it. You’re not crazy, you’re not alone, and learning self-care.”

According to the Food and Drug Administration, there is no cure but many treatments and surgeries are available.