Living with Endometriosis: The Mysterious Health Condition
Menstrual cramps are no joke — the throbbing pain, the bloating that follows, the urge to wear sweatpants for a week straight. There’s not much you can do to alleviate the pain, but pop a pain reliever and wait it out. However, if you’re experiencing severe pelvic pain during your menstruation cycle, then you might have a more serious health condition. Living with endometriosis can be painful at times. However, you still have options.
What is endometriosis?
Endometriosis affects over five million women in the United States and occurs when uterine tissue, also known as the endometrium, is located in the wrong place, such as outside the uterus or on nearby organs. In a healthy menstruating woman, the endometrium grows inside the uterus and sheds every month during a woman’s period. In women with endometriosis, the tissue has no way of exiting the body when it sheds during menstruation. This causes severe pelvic pain and other symptoms that cause discomfort.
What are the first signs of endometriosis?
Living with endometriosis can feel painful at times. Many women commonly describe the pain as worse than your usual menstrual cramps. Symptoms of endometriosis include:
- Severe pain during menstruation
- Pelvic pain any time of the month
- Painful urination or bowel movements during menstruation
- Hurts to sit down during period
- Bloating, constipation, or diarrhea during menstruation
- Extreme fatigue during menstruation
Causes of endometriosis
There is no known cause for endometriosis. However, the medical industry suspects the buildup of uterine tissue in the fallopian tubes causing the tissue to flow into the abdominal cavity to contribute. Furthermore, the risk for developing endometriosis increases for those who have a family history of it.
Diagnosing and treating endometriosis
Laparoscopic surgery detects and diagnoses endometriosis. A surgeon inserts a small camera into the abdominal cavity to check for endometrial tissue. If the surgeon detects endometriosis, they can remove the tissue using laser technology or other surgical tools.
In addition, hormone medications such as birth control pills and medicines can help. Furthermore, they block estrogen and progesterone thus alleviating pain and other symptoms.
Endometriosis and Pregnancy
If you want to become pregnant and have endometriosis, inform your physician or gynecologist immediately. Some medications for treating endometriosis can cause harm to fetuses. In most cases, your doctor will instruct you to continue with medication to shrink the endometriosis before you try to get pregnant.
If you suffer from pelvic pain and other symptoms associated with endometriosis, make an appointment with your gynecologist. Or, find an OB/GYN at Women’s Care. The sooner you are diagnosed, the sooner you can begin treatment and get back to enjoying a healthy, pain-free life.
If you experience symptoms of endometriosis, please schedule an appointment with a doctor here.