One of the most damaging myths when it comes toendometriosis, in my opinion, is that you have to be a certain age to have it.Going to doctors and telling them about your symptoms should not be met withthe response “you’re too young to have that”, because that’s just not true. Ifyou have periods, then you are old enough to have endometriosis (it is thoughtthat some people may even have signs of it even before their first period).
Typically, people are diagnosed with endometriosis betweenthe ages of 21-35, but some doctors end up being a bit too pigeon-holed by thisage bracket, and as a result don’t look into the possibility of endometriosisas soon as they may have done if the patient was within the age bracket.
EndoWhat discusses this topic really well, and you can readtheir post about endo myths here. One phrase that I particularly likes was“endometriosis is a disease of adolescence”, and I couldn’t agree with thisstatement more. With an average diagnosis period of 7.5 years from the onset ofsymptoms, and working on the typical diagnosis age of 21-35, the onset ofsymptoms likely started between the ages of 14 and 28.
Not only can it be damaging from the point of view of thedoctors bias, but also from the patient. If you’re researching your symptoms,and come across a condition that you think matches up with all of your symptomsbut then see that you don’t fall into the age bracket for having this, wouldyou still pursue treatment? Many people are reluctant to question medicalinformation, because they are not medically trained and will usually assume itis correct. From personal experience, it can be very intimidating trying toexplain to a doctor why you think you have something when you don’t fall intothe typical category of patients.
The main thing I want people to take away from the endomyths blogs in this endocation series is that there are still so many old wivestales about endometriosis, especially on the internet. So what if you don’tfall neatly in the middle of the Venn diagram of endo symptoms? That doesn’tmean you don’t have it, and your concerns should be taken just as seriously asany other persons.