May 21, 2001

Daisy Fuentes, bilingual television personality and model, is teaming up with the Endometriosis Association (EA) to encourage women and girls to speak up if they have ongoing pelvic pain or "killer cramps."

Fuentes is featured in a televised public service announcement (PSA) campaign to raise awareness of endometriosis and educational resources to help those with the disease. The PSAs were produced and distributed in both English and Spanish. They encourage women and girls to take charge of their endometriosis and discuss treatment options with their doctor.

"Promoting women's health issues is a top priority for me," Fuentes said. "Endometriosis is a painful and disruptive disease yet it's relatively unknown. I hope to help women and girls take control of their own health and fight this disease with knowledge."

Endometriosis is a painful and often debilitating disease that affects 5.5 million women and girls in North America. The most common symptom is chronic pelvic pain so severe that it causes 79 percent of patients to miss work or school every month. Many women suffer in silence because they think their symptoms are normal or "just part of being a woman." Endometriosis strikes people from all walks of life -- regardless of socioeconomic class or race. Other symptoms include: fatigue, pain during or after sex, lower backache during periods, painful bowel movements, and heavy or irregular periods.

This year, the Endometriosis Association launched a series of campaigns to educate the public, healthcare providers and the news media. The cornerstone is free, year-round physician screenings for endometriosis that are being conducted across the country. Women and girls can access an Endometriosis Screening Site Locator at , where they can also take a self-test to assess their risk for endometriosis. People can also call the Endometriosis Association toll-free at 1-800-992-3636.

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