Milwaukee – March is Endometriosis Awareness Month. Endometriosis is a hormonal and immune system disease affecting at least 6.3 million women and girls in the United States, and more than 89 million worldwide. During this National Health Observances month, the Endometriosis Association encourages its members and friends to wear a yellow ribbon for Endo Awareness, and to educate others about this disease that affects girls as young as eight years old and women of all ages.
Yellow “Ask me about endo” ribbons (in English, French, and Spanish) and informational brochures about endometriosis (in 30+ languages) may be obtained free of charge by contacting the Endometriosis Association at (414) 355-2200 or at [email protected].
The Association, which created Endometriosis Awareness Month in 1993, expects to send thousands of awareness ribbons and brochures worldwide this March. In addition to its comprehensive “yellow” brochure, the Association also has brochures for specific populations—girls, teens, and women in menopause. The response thus far has been so great that the Association has already had to reorder ribbons and brochures.
This is the first year that the yellow ribbon is available in Spanish. It is imprinted with the phrase “Pregúnteme acerca de endometriosis” (“Ask me about endometriosis”), and “Endometriosis Association.”
Health Matters at Work, an informative program of Community Health Charities of America (a workplace giving campaign partnership), spotlights endometriosis and the Association in a podcast this month. The podcast features an interview with Endometriosis Association President and Executive Director, Mary Lou Ballweg. Click here to view the program.
Endometriosis has been in the news recently with the release of a report on the higher risk for three types of ovarian cancer in women with a history of endometriosis. The study was conducted by the Ovarian Cancer Association Consortium, comprised of over 40 groups of investigators from around the world conducting studies on ovarian cancer. Further information about the study published in The Lancet Oncology, go to “In the News” on our website.
The name of the disease endometriosis comes from the word endometrium, which is the tissue that lines the inside of the uterus and builds up and sheds each month in the menstrual cycle. In “endo,” tissue like the endometrium is found outside the uterus in other areas of the body, most commonly the abdomen. It develops into growths that cause pain, infertility, and other problems.
The Endometriosis Association is an international self-help organization that offers mutual support to those affected by endo, educates the public and the healthcare community about the disease, and promotes and conducts research related to endo. The Association was founded in Milwaukee, WI in 1980.
More information about the disease can be obtained from the Endometriosis Association’s book, Endometriosis: The Complete Reference for Taking Charge of Your Health, the Association’s website or by contacting the Association.
The National Health Observances Month calendar (published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services) can be found at their website.