If you have certain menstrual irregularities, there is a condition called endometriosis that you should know about. The lining of the uterus is called the endometrium. Each month this lining should prepare the body for pregnancy and if conception does not occur, this lining is shed roughly every 28-30 days in otherwise healthy women of childbearing age. If you experience menstrual bleeding at times other than your period, if this bleeding is particularly heavy or painful, if it contains blood clots, or you are experiencing spotting between periods, it’s important to ask your OB/GYN about the possibility of endometriosis.
Signs of Endometriosis
Aside from irregularities in menstruation, there are other symptoms that endometriosis may present. Pain is one of the key symptoms. Other than painful uterine cramping during menstruation, you may experience pain when engaging in intercourse or moving your bowels. You may likewise experience uncomfortable bloating within the abdomen at any time of the month. This may be accompanied by constipation and nausea. Someone with endometriosis is also likely to feel pain in the lower back, pelvis, or within the vagina.
What is Endometriosis?
Endometriosis is the abnormal growth of the lining of the uterus. Instead of this lining staying within the walls of the uterus, it grows abnormally in other areas of a woman’s body. This tissue is often found growing on the ovaries, the Fallopian tubes, the intestines or within the abdomen. This tissue will grow and swell in response to hormonal changes, just as the lining in the uterus does, and it will consequently bleed. These changes occur as the menstrual cycle progresses.
How is Endometriosis Treated?
This condition is quite common, with more than 200,000 cases diagnosed annually. For most women, treatment consists of medication, as well as possible surgical intervention to excise the tissue. Hormone treatment can help control the growth of this out of place tissue, leading to a more normal cycle. Self-care includes anti-inflammatory medications, used under the advice of your doctor, as well as heating pads to control cramping and abdominal pain. If you have endometriosis and are trying to conceive, your doctor may advise additional treatment, or treatment other than hormonal, so that you will continue to ovulate. The doctor may recommend testing to determine the best options for getting pregnant.
There are treatments available for women suffering from endometriosis. While the condition itself can be painful, there is no reason for you to let it ruin your life. Let our OB/GYN in Surprise, AZ help you find the best choices for your situation. Help is available.