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Is Endometriosis a Disability?

For some, life with endometriosis can be a debilitating condition that impacts their personal and professional lives.

For others, their endometriosis can be managed with minimal impact on their personal and professional lives.

We want to know, do you feel endometriosis is a disability?

Should the SSA (Social Security Administration) acknowledge it and officially list it as one?

**Please remember that this is a safe space to share our sometimes differing opinions.**

  1. While endometriosis pain can certainly be disabling at times, I do not think the endo, in and of itself, should be considered a disability. According to the SSA, a disability is a condition that completely prevents someone from gainful employment. The key word is completely. Endo pain can be severe, and is typically cyclical. When managed well, it's entirely possible to be gainfully employed. Even severe bouts of pain can be efficiently handled in the work place, IMO. I deal with severe endometriosis, among many other chronic illnesses. If endo was the only issue I had to deal with, I don't think there's any way it should qualify for disability. There are many other more debilitating conditions that are not recognized by the SSA, and I really don't think endo should be added to the list.


    1. Yes, it's a very tricky situation. While I'm sure there are some people that only deal with endometriosis, many of us have other chronic conditions that complicate the situation. I admit, it would have been difficult to hold down a full time job when I was in the worst of my endo pain. I would have one week of severe pain, two weeks of mild/moderate pain, and then one week without much pain. The week of severe pain, it would have been impossible for me to sit at a desk for 8-12 hours, which is what my work schedule was. So how do you hold a job when one week out of the month it's almost impossible to work? In the current state of affairs, many people have a work at home option, which makes it much more feasible to been gainfully employed. So, again, I don't feel like endometriosis, in and of itself, is grounds for disability. But like you mentioned, most people also have other chronic conditions which compound the issues with endometriosis. (I feel like I'm just rambling, so I'll stop here.)


      As for how I'm doing, I've been better. I had a laparoscopy about 6 weeks ago that we were hoping would take care of some of the pain. Unfortunately, I'm pretty sure my pain has been worse since the procedure. I met with my doctor on Tuesday and we are planning on another surgery to remove my right ovary and possibly my appendix.

    2. could not agree more! And unless the employer is 100% understanding (which so far I have seen to be totally rare), there is no possible way we can keep taking that time each month for those bad weeks. Even sometimes the mild/moderate pain leaves me down. I remember when I was working, my boss agreed to cut back my hours each week and I sort of picked which days during the week I was feeling well to go in. But after a while that wasn't working for her and she fired me! So it is certainly a tricky situation for us all. And of course, not everyone falls into this situation. Some with endometriosis can work full time and do all the things! And that is great, too! But it definitely is not like that for everyone.


      BUT you also make a valid point about the work at home positions as well! Those are certainly becoming more and more available. So that is a great option for those who physically cannot go into the office. I work from home and on those really bad days, I take my computer to the couch and do my work there. It certainly beats calling out or trying to make it into an office.


      Now I feel like I am rambling. It really is just a tricky topic. It can go both ways for sure and it depends on each individual. Anyways, hey surgery recovery sister! I had surgery about 3 weeks ago! I am so sorry your pain is feeling worse though 🙁 I am feeling a little unsure too about how mine went. But.. I got my appendix out this last round and while I still have some recovery pain, I really do think it helped with that severe right side pain I was getting! I pray you find this relief too if you do have another surgery. Please stay in touch and keep us posted on how you are doing <3 Thinking of you warrior and sending good thoughts. -Kimberli (endometriosis.net team member)

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