Endometriosis is an enigmatic condition that affects approximately 10% of American women during their reproductive years.
Unfortunately, there are still many women and men who don’t know what endometriosis is or what to do about it. The best way to begin is by becoming aware of a few essential endometriosis facts.
Start at the Beginning: What Is Endometriosis?
Endometriosis is a condition where “out of place” tissue forms on the outside of the uterus like a lesion. It is similar to the tissue on the inside of the uterine lining, and can go through a cycle just like the menstrual cycle. This endometrial tissue is likely to cause severe pain, painful urination, and discomfort during bowel movements.
No Single Symptom Makes Endometriosis Enigmatic
There are numerous symptoms associated with endometriosis, though not everyone will experience the same ones. There can be very painful periods, chronic pelvic pain between periods, and pain that can be felt both during and after sex. One of the worst symptoms of endometriosis is that this severe pain does not go away. In addition, a woman with endometriosis can have painful ovulation, heavy bleeding, fatigue, and infertility.
Because lots of individuals report their symptoms as “all over the place,” it may be difficult to diagnose their condition right away, which leads many assume their pain must be caused by something else. Combined confusion can delay an accurate diagnosis for years, and this results in needed treatment to be delayed.
Endometriosis Can Start in Early Puberty
The sad fact is this condition can occur as early as a young girl’s first period, prompting them to think their awful menstrual cycle is just a normal monthly occurrence. Another sad fact is that symptoms can continue during menopause due to scar tissue.
There Is No Known Cause
Although no known single cause has been discovered yet, many researchers believe it is genetic predisposition. If your mother and/or sister had endometriosis, you are at a higher risk to develop it too.
There Is No Known Cure
Again, there is no known cure for Endometriosis, but it can be treated to relieve the worst of your symptoms.
Endometriosis Is Associated with Infertility
Approximately 30 – 50% of women with endometriosis are infertile. This is not written in stone, and it does not definitively mean that this condition causes infertility, as there are many different reasons why a woman may be infertile.
You Must Tell Your Doctor About Your Symptoms
No one else will tell them if you don’t. Be your own advocate and explain in detail the pain, how intense it is, how often it occurs, and where it is located.
Surgery Is an Option but Not a Necessity to Treat Endometriosis
Surgery is usually recommended as a last resort to treating endometriosis, and only if all the other options have been tried with no improvement.
OTC non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, hormone treatments, warm baths and heating pads at home, and alternative medicine like acupuncture are all possible treatments to try before considering surgery.
Only you and Women’s Health Partners can decide what treatments are best for you.
If you suspect your pain may be caused by endometriosis, contact Women’s Health Partners for an examination.