Endometriosis runs in my family and my mom thinks I have it. I have really painful periods, but on my periods I have a lot of back pain to the point where it makes me cry and not want to walk. Is that normal?

Thank you for asking such an important question, especially since next month (March) is endometriosis awareness month! Did you know that 1 in 10 people born with female reproductive organs between the ages of 15 to 49 years old is affected by endometriosis? Endometriosis is an inflammatory condition that occurs when tissue (similar to the inside lining of the uterus) is found outside of its usual location. The inflamed tissue can appear on the ovaries, fallopian tubes, ligaments that support the uterus, and in severe cases on the rectum or bladder. This inflammatory condition can cause a variety of symptoms that may differ from person to person. Most commonly, the symptoms include pelvic pain and/or severe period cramps, nausea/vomiting, pain with penetration, diarrhea, or constipation.

The cause of endometriosis is unclear; however, there is a strong relationship between family history and endo. People with a family history of endometriosis are considered at higher risk. It is also important to mention that monthly periods aren’t meant to be super painful, and mild discomfort is normal for a couple of days each month. However, if period pain is disrupting your daily life, then it is a good idea to talk to your healthcare provider (HCP) about your risk for endometriosis!