Most women are taught that period pain is normal. While that is true to an extent, that statement is subjective and often leaves women to downplay possible symptoms of endometriosis. Severe period pain is not normal. In fact, chronically severe period pain can be indicative of something far more sinister.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, endometriosis affects more than 6.5 million women in the United States between the ages of 15 and 44. It is more common among women in their 30s and 40s, but no one is too young, or old, to develop endometriosis.
Endometriosis, sometimes called “endo,” is a painful condition in which the tissue that lines your uterus starts growing outside of it. Endometriosis is most commonly found growing on the ovaries, fallopian tubes, or the outer surface of the uterus. This causes often debilitating pain and severe discomfort in daily life – and even more so during menstruation periods.
Endometriosis can be classified into four stages of severity:
Endometriosis growths are benign, but they cause other problems depending on the stage and severity. Trapped blood in the ovaries can form cysts. Scar tissue may cause pelvic pain and make it more difficult to get pregnant. Endometriosis growths can block fallopian tubes or grow into your ovaries. Each of these symptoms of endometriosis can cause other issues, but the common outcome is chronic pain.
The exact cause of endometriosis has not been identified. Researchers are studying possible causes such as hormones and estrogen levels, immune system deficiencies, or other genetic factors.
Endometriosis is more common in women who experience issues with fertility, although, it hasn’t been claimed as a cause for infertility.
While there is no definitive cause or prevention method, you could reduce your chances of developing endometriosis by lowering your estrogen levels. Estrogen thickens the lining of your uterus during your menstrual cycle. Thinning your uterus’ lining will result in less pain during menstruation.
Not all women need to reduce their estrogen levels. Talk to your gynecologist about your hormones and if you should create a lifestyle plan that will contribute to lowering your estrogen levels.
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The symptoms of endometriosis vary, but the common factor is extreme pain. If you are wondering what does endometriosis look like, or what does endometriosis feel like, then read through this checklist that covers the most common symptoms of endometriosis.
If you are experiencing one or more of these issues, you should consult your OBGYN. It is better to understand your body and catch the symptoms of endometriosis early. Speak to your gynecologist about any health concerns or pain you are experiencing.
Yes. Pregnancy may temporarily reduce the symptoms of endometriosis, but it will not stop endometrial tissues from forming again after the birth.
For some women, the symptoms of endometriosis lessen after menopause. As the body stops producing estrogen, endometrial growths shrink over time.
If you feel that you have symptoms of endometriosis, talk with your OBGYN. Your gynecologist will be able to conduct a pelvic exam, run imaging and ultrasound tests, or perform a laparoscopy to see if you have endometriosis tissue.
There is no cure for endometriosis, but treatments are available for the symptoms. Treating endometriosis depends on the patient and the severity of the symptoms. Most patients can see benefits from medication and surgery for pain relief and treatment of infertility.
Endometrial ablation procedures reduce or stop bleeding and spotting by eliminating a thin layer of endometrial lining. The endometrial ablation procedure is minimally invasive and can be done in-office.
Most endometriosis treatments start with pain management. Talk to your OBGYN about a medicated treatment plan to help reduce the pain and other symptoms of endometriosis.
Christopher Quinsey, MD, has helped many women that suffer from endometriosis. Conveniently nestled in the heart of Central Florida, Dr. Quinsey uses cutting-edge technology to provide minimally invasive in-office operations like endometrial ablation.
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*This blog is for general informational purposes only. Christopher K. Quinsey MD, P.A. does not distribute medical advice through this blog. As such, this blog does not constitute a patient-client relationship between the reader and Christopher K. Quinsey MD, P.A.