An estimated 176 million women and girls throughout the world are affected by endometriosis, according to the World Endometriosis Society. I’m pleased to announce that ACOG, ASRM, and other organizations are co-sponsoring the worldwide Million Woman March for Endometriosis to raise awareness and advocate for increased funding for this common and often painful gynecologic condition. We believe that an internationally-coordinated campaign is absolutely necessary to effect change. So on March 13, we’ll be marching on the National Mall in Washington, DC, while similar events take place throughout the world.
Endometriosis affects 6–10% of all reproductive-age women. It’s a leading cause of chronic pelvic pain and a common cause of infertility. Unfortunately, we still don’t know what causes it. And the treatments that we have, while helpful, are not curative. According to the Endometriosis Foundation of America and the World Endometriosis Research Foundation, the health care costs of endometriosis are estimated to be $70–95 billion each year in the US alone. Although this is comparable to other chronic diseases, two-thirds of these costs are due to loss of productivity at work.
Our campaign goals include:
- Empowering women and teens by encouraging them to unite with their supporters to take a stand against endometriosis.
- Raising awareness about endometriosis and its effects on women and girls.
- Educating and training the medical community to promote early detection and improved treatment.
- Finding a cure for endometriosis and developing non-invasive diagnostic tests.
- Working with Congress to allocate funding for endometriosis.
We won’t be marching alone in March. Awareness campaigns also will be occurring in dozens of capitals around the world—Amsterdam, Belfast, Berlin, Brasilia, Buenos Aires, Copenhagen, Dublin, Helsinki, Kingston, Lisbon, London, Madrid, Oslo, Reykjavik, Rome, and Stockholm, to name just a few.
Throughout my presidential term, I have advocated for well-woman health care and prevention. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to one day have endometriosis on the list of “preventable” conditions? That will only happen when our research discovers the cause.
Please plan to join us in Washington, DC, on March 13. For more information about supporting the Million Woman March for Endometriosis, go to www.millionwomanmarch2014.org.
Resource: Endometriosis Fact Sheet (PDF)