Menstruation can be a real pain, and most females are told this from an early age. So even if you are having symptoms of endometriosis, such as increased bleeding or painful periods, it's easy to shrug off the problems as just something you have to deal with as a female. To build awareness of this gynecological condition, since March is Endometriosis Awareness month, here's a look at a few things you need to know.
What Is Endometriosis Exactly?The endometrium is naturally present in the inner lining of the uterus, but when endometrium grows outside of the uterus, it is known as endometriosis. This is a chronic condition that can affect women at just about any stage of their child-bearing years, whether they are young and have just begun menstruation, or they are older and closer to menopause.
There is not a defined cause of endometriosis, and the severity of the condition can range from female to female. The excess growth can affect nearby organs in the pelvic region, such as the bladder and bowels.
What Are the Typical Symptoms of Endometriosis?It can take as long as 10 years for endometriosis to be diagnosed because the symptoms are so easy to miss or easily blamed on regular female menstruation. Many women deal with the effects of endometriosis for years before they mention anything to their doctor at all. Some of the most common symptoms of endometriosis include:
- Lower abdomen and lower back pain
- Pain during urination or bowel movements
- Difficulties with fertility
- Heavy periods or irregular periods
- More painful menstruation
- Painful intercourse
How Do You Know the Difference Between Endometriosis and Regular Period Pain?Because some of the symptoms of regular menstruation and endometriosis can be similar, a lot of women miss the symptoms altogether. To better point out the differences, there are a few telltale signs to look for, including:
- Period pain that does not go away with regular over-the-counter pain medications
- Pain during or after sexual intercourse at any time of the month
- Symptoms that occur outside of your normal period, such as cramping or intestinal issues
How Is Endometriosis Treated?Endometriosis treatment can range according to the severity of the condition. Even though this gynecological condition is chronic, it is treatable. In the initial stages, your gynecologist may simply treat and help you manage the symptoms with pain medications or synthetic hormones. Surgical options to remove the endometriosis growth is also fairly common practice.
Women do have to deal with some things that are not so pleasant, but sometimes, you could be dealing with something far more concerning than typical female pains. If you would like to know more about endometriosis, contact us at Plaza OB/GYN for more information.