Endometriosis is a painful disorder that may worsen with your menstruation period. If you have extreme discomfort and pelvic pain around the time of menstruation and are having difficulty getting pregnant, you may want to consult a doctor to find out if you are suffering from endometriosis.
Endometriosis occurs when the tissue that creates the lining of the uterine wall grows on the outside of the uterus. However, the endometrial tissue continues to function like it would if it was in its correct place. It thickens in preparation for ovulation, then breaks down, and bleeds during your menstruation period. Normally, this tissue exits the body through the vagina, but with endometriosis, there is no place for it to exit. These tissue cells have only a few options, flow back through the fallopian tubes—retrograde menstruation—which may spill over into the pelvic cavity. Or, it can flow through the ovaries often causing cysts, scar tissue, or adhesions. These adhesions are fibrous tissue that can cause the pelvic tissue and other organs to stick together. Clearly, this can be a very painful process and heighten your discomfort during menstruation.
Symptoms of endometriosis are typically noticed during the menstruation period, and many women comment that cramping and pelvic pain is worse than what the average woman claims. In many cases, the pain increases over time.
Here are several other common symptoms of endometriosis:
- Extremely painful periods
- Heavy bleeding
- Pain associated with intercourse
- Pain associated with bowel movements or urination
- Bloating or nausea
- Diarrhea or constipation
You will first notice these symptoms after you begin menstruation. The symptoms will subside during pregnancy and will end permanently during menopause.
There are several risk factors that may increase the potential for developing endometriosis. These include:
- Starting your period early in life
- Experiencing short menstrual cycles
- Never giving birth
- Going through menopause later in life
- Higher levels of estrogen in your body
- Low BMI (Body Mass Index)
- Uterine abnormalities
- Family history of endometriosis
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms and think you may be at risk for endometriosis, schedule an appointment at The Woman’s Clinic today. Treatment is possible! Often, the right medication is all you need, though sometimes surgery may be necessary. The earlier we diagnose endometriosis, and the sooner you understand the details of this disorder, the better you can manage your symptoms. You don’t have to be in pain any longer.