Endometriosis is a painful condition in which tissue that grows inside of the uterus develops on the outside of it. It can affect the ovaries, Fallopian tubes, intestines, and the tissue lining the pelvic region. Clusters of endometrial tissue implanted on these organs cause painful inflammation during menstruation. This condition causes discomfort, and also infertility in some cases. There are treatment options for endometriosis that range from pain relievers to surgery.
5 Symptoms of endometriosis
1 . Painful menstruation (dysmenorrhea). In the days leading up a period, mild cramping may begin and get more intense during the menstrual cycle. There may also be lower back and abdominal pain.
2 . Painful intercourse. It’s common for sexual intercourse to be painful if a woman has endometriosis. The pain comes from the stretching and pulling of endometrial growths located behind the vagina and lower uterus.
3 . Excessive menstrual bleeding. Heavy bleeding during periods — or bleeding between periods – might be other symptoms of endometriosis.
4 . Infertility. Trouble conceiving may be a sign of endometriosis. Treating endometriosis, if present, can help a women become pregnant.
5 . Painful urination or bowel movements. Discomfort in urinating or bowel movements can be associated with endometriosis.
Some other signs of endometriosis may include fatigue, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, and nausea, notably during a period. Be sure to see a doctor if any of the above symptoms are experienced. Chronic pain of the pelvis or abdominal area needs medical attention.
Birth control. Birth control hormones in the form of pills, a patch, or a ring may reduce pain for some women. This treatment method is more likely to prevent the condition from worsening.
Pain relievers. Anti-inflammatory medications may be all some women need to reduce pain from endometriosis.
Surgery. The most common surgical procedure for endometriosis is a laparoscopy. This involves a doctor placing one or more small incisions on the abdomen, through which narrow instruments are used to remove endometrial growths and scar tissue. A laparoscopy is typically successful in significantly reducing or eliminating pain and increasing the chance for pregnancy.
In rare cases, a complete hysterectomy is performed when all other treatments for endometriosis fail and the patient doesn’t plan to have any children. The result of a hysterectomy is early menopause, however.
Infertility treatment. If a woman is still having trouble conceiving after undergoing surgery for endometriosis, additional treatments might be necessary. These can include fertility drugs, insemination, or in-vitro fertilization.
The doctors at Pacific Women’s Center understand endometriosis and how it interferes with a woman’s life. Call them today to learn more about treatment options.