#35 - Living with Endometriosis While Black | Lauren Kornegay
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You're Black. You have been diagnosed with endometriosis — here’s why your race matters.
If you’re Black with endometriosis, you’re not alone. If you’re wondering why race matters, here are four answers to the question “Why do you have to make it about race?”
- Black people are less likely to receive an endometriosis diagnosis. Oftentimes, endo is dismissed as nothing more than a “bad period.” Even when symptoms show up the same way as for white patients, doctors misdiagnose the cause more often.
- Doctors are less likely to believe Black women's pain. In general, women’s pain isn’t taken seriously enough. Adding race to the equation, compounds the issue. Many white doctors see Black patients as less sensitive to pain than white patients, which often results in inadequate treatment.
- Endometriosis can overlap with other conditions that Black people are more likely to have. Endometriosis doesn’t show up in isolation. Considering the other health conditions that disproportionately affect Black women such as uterine fibroids, heart disease, strokes, and diabetes, you can see how this might play out.
- Black people have more limited access to holistic treatments that can help. Turning to integrative, holistic, and preventive strategies, including dietary modification, acupuncture, yoga, and meditation is easier said than done for many Black folks since many wellness spaces aren't as welcoming to Black clientele or practitioners as they could be.
While there’s no cure for endometriosis, you can heal with the appropriate diagnosis and care.
Lauren R. Kornegay, a native of Oxon Hill, MD, experienced a series of events that led her to a gynecologist while at Morgan State University. In seeing this new gynecologist, she was introduced to endometriosis. Diagnosed with endometriosis on 03/18/2011, Lauren experienced the pain, struggles, exhaustion, and confusion accompanying the disorder. So in October of 2015, Lauren established Endo Black, Inc., a platform designed to connect African American women and women of color affected by endometriosis. As Founder and Executive Director, her main goal is to engage, educate, and encourage African American women and women of color that are affected by endometriosis because no one should feel alone.
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