Endometriosis most commonly affects the fallopian tubes, pelvis, and ovaries but could also extend beyond the pelvis in rare situations. It is a condition where tissue similar to the tissue lining your uterus grows outside your uterus and thickens, breaks, and bleeds during your menstrual cycle. As a result, you may experience pain during your period or develop fertility problems.
Although there is no treatment for endometriosis, Dr. Albert Scott of Dekalb Women’s Specialists can help you manage your symptoms. Here is everything you need to know about this condition.
Symptoms of Endometriosis
Most people are alerted to the possibility of endometriosis by intense pelvic pain that accompanies menstrual periods. Although many women experience some pain during their period, women with endometriosis complain that the pain is worse than average and may increase over time. Other signs you may have this condition include:
- Pain during sexual intercourse
- Pelvic pain and cramping before and several days after your period
- Pain during urination or bowel movements
- Heavy menstrual bleeding
- Occasional heavy menstrual periods
- Diarrhea, bloating, fatigue, or constipation during your period
Because of the pelvic pain endometriosis often causes, it is sometimes mistaken for other conditions such as ovarian cysts or pelvic inflammatory disease. The most effective way to diagnose your condition is to see a specialist for testing.
It is also important to note that the severity of your pelvic pain is not indicative of the extent of your condition. Some women who have advanced endometriosis don’t even experience pain and may only discover the condition during routine screening.
Risk Factors of Endometriosis
1 in every 10 women may be at risk of developing endometriosis, making it an ever-present threat. While any woman could face this dilemma, certain factors could increase your risk of the condition, which include:
- Beginning menopause at an older age
- Starting your period at an early age
- Having short menstrual cycles of less than 7 days
- Never giving birth
- Family history of endometriosis
- Low body mass index
- Certain medical conditions, such as those that prevent the normal menstrual flow
- Higher than normal estrogen levels
- Heavy menstrual periods that last longer than 7 days
Endometriosis and Infertility
A good number of endometriosis cases are diagnosed when the patient goes in for fertility treatments. About 33 to 50 percent of women with this condition have difficulty conceiving, making impaired fertility one of the main complications of endometriosis. But exactly why is this the case?
Conception happens when an egg is released from the ovary, travels through the fallopian tube, is fertilized by sperm, and is attached to the uterine wall. Endometriosis can undermine this process by blocking the fallopian tube or damaging the sperm or egg.
That said, it is essential to note that some women with mild to moderate endometriosis successfully get pregnant and carry the baby to term. You can discuss your options with your doctor.
Discuss Endometriosis with a Specialist
Endometriosis can significantly affect your quality of life, and while it cannot be cured, the symptoms can be managed. Dekalb Women’s Specialists offers a wide range of treatment options from hormonal medication and pain medicine to surgical tissue removal. If you have symptoms that suggest endometriosis, contact the center to book an appointment today.