Apparently, endometriosis is contagious. They thought it might be hereditary, and they are still on the fence on that one, but my observations tell me that it seems to be something women can 'catch' from one another. At least, that's what people who've known me seem to believe.
Women... listen up. Just because you have pain, it does not mean you have endo. Just because you have a heavy flow day, a bad period, a difficult week, depression, occasional back pain, a bad break up, nausea, or vomit once in awhile, it does not mean you have endo. Just because you're infertile (or believe that you are) does not mean you have endo. Just because you have a friend, mother, sister, daughter, teacher or boss with endo, it does not mean you have endo. Just because the nurse at the ER mentioned it as a possibility, or the quack doctor you see told you it could be, does not mean you have endo. Read very carefully: unless you have had SURGERY to diagnose endometriosis, please stop claiming to have endo, because that is the ONLY way to diagnose it. No ultrasounds. No x-rays. No pap smears. No diagnosis based on symptoms alone. The female body is a complex thing. There are many, MANY things that can cause one (or all) of these symptoms. Any woman who has struggled with and actually been diagnosed with endo or infertility will tell you, it is extremely disrespectful to them, and all women who suffer with these issues, to parade around as though you are 'one of us' when you really have no idea what your problem actually is.
And, here's a little newsflash for you... if you truly believe you have a condition that is causing this sort of imbalance in your body, there are a few things you can do (prior to as well as after your diagnosis) to help alleviate some of those symptoms.
1. If you drink, STOP. Alcohol (and expressly, the abuse of it) will only cause further problems, and it doesn't mix well with pain pills, (narcotic or otherwise) and trust me, ladies, if you have endo, you NEED pain pills. You'll only end up destroying your liver in the end.
2. Limit your intake of sugar, caffeine, dairy and meat. Think I'm joking? How do you think us 'endo girls' get to be so skinny? The more endo tissue you have (and the more places you have it in) the more these things will aggravate your digestive system, causing pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite and frequent urination.
3. Have the surgery to find out what is really going on. Endo symptoms are similar to a lot of other conditions, (two being ovarian and uterine cancer) so it's best to find out right away what is wrong, in case it's something a lot more serious (and deadly).
I've been dealing with this condition for 10+ years. I suffered for years before being diagnosed, because at that time not many regular doctors even knew what endo was. Now that the medical community as a whole is more knowledgeable, they seem to toss the word around like candy. Even if your doctor mentions endo (and no matter what he or she may say to the contrary) they cannot diagnose it without surgery. In fact, if you have a doctor telling you otherwise, it would be in your best interest to quickly find a new doctor, because they clearly aren't very educated on the disease.
Only you know how you feel, and if you are having symptoms that alert you to a problem, by all means get yourself checked out. However, until you do, and a definitive diagnosis is made, please stop saying you have endo. It could be any number of conditions with those general symptoms, and assuming it's endo without finding out for sure is both disrespectful to those of us who are long-time (diagnosed) endo sufferers, and dangerous for you if it turns out you're wrong.