Guest // Philippa Bridge-Cook, PhD

Host // Chandler Marrs, PhD

menstrualcramps“Every month, when her period comes, my daughter is down for the count. She misses school and is in absolute agony.”

Is this normal?

Although many women and girls experience some discomfort during menstruation, “killer cramps” are NOT normal – despite what many physicians, the media, friends, and even well-intentioned loved ones tell us. Pain is the body’s way of saying something is wrong. Excessively painful periods, month after month, might be endometriosis.

Endo-what?

Although endometriosis affects 176 million girls and women worldwide, it’s poorly understood and often goes undiagnosed for many years leaving girls and women to suffer needlessly. Here are some basic facts from the global forum Endometriosis.org:

  • Endometriosis is an estrogen-dependent disorder where endometrial tissue forms lesions outside the uterus.
  • It affects an estimated 10% of women in the reproductive-age group.
  • Symptoms include painful periods, painful ovulation, pain during or after sex, abnormal bleeding, chronic pelvic pain, fatigue, and infertility.
  • There’s a 38% greater loss of work productivity due to pain.
  • The estimated annual cost of endometriosis treatment in the U.S. is about $20 billion (2002 data).
  • There is no known cure.
  • Most current medical treatments are not suitable long term due to their side-effect profiles.

Join us for the first of a multi-part series about endometriosis and menstrual health.

Philippa-Bridge-Cook-150x150Philippa-Bridge Cook, PhD is a scientist working in molecular diagnostics and trained in medical genetics and microbiology from the University of Toronto. She is also an endometriosis survivor and advocate. She is regular contributor to Hormones Matter on topics related to endometriosis and more recently, cyclic vomiting syndrome and she serves on the board of directors of The Endometriosis Network Canada, a non-profit organization that promotes a patient-centered approach to managing endometriosis to increase the quality of life for those living with it.

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