Menstruation is a widely varied experience. Some women have no cramping or PMS, some have mild symptoms, and some have severe issues related to their periods. Endometriosis is no different. And because women may have vastly different symptoms, it is a condition that can be difficult to understand and diagnose. Could it be possible that you have endometriosis that hasn’t been diagnosed? Here, we discuss the signs. If you have them, you can benefit from a thoughtful conversation with your gynecologist at Huey & Weprin Ob/Gyn.
What is Endometriosis?
The uterine lining, in some women, grows outside the uterus. This is known as endometriosis. The abnormal tissue growth can intrude on surrounding organs, including the bowel and ovaries. Each month, when the hormones shift before menstruation, the misplaced tissues can become irritated. Over time, this tissue can thicken and break down. When this happens, it can become trapped in the pelvis and cause a myriad of symptoms.
- Extreme period pain. One of the most common indicators of endometriosis is the extreme pain a woman experiences during menstruation. The abnormal tissue that has grown outside the uterus swells and bleeds just like the internal lining. However, due to its position, this external tissue is difficult to release. As a result, many women have stabbing menstrual pain.
- Painful sexual intercourse. Women with endometriosis may experience painful intercourse. This usually does not occur upon entry but, rather, with deeper penetration.
- Excessive menstrual bleeding. Women who soak a tampon or pad an hour, or who pass blood clots during their periods, may have endometriosis. Treatment should be sought to prevent anemia.
- Chronic pelvic or low back pain. If abnormal endometrial tissue touches the vagina, bladder, or rectum, a woman may experience low back pain or pelvic pain pretty much all the time.
- Pregnancy difficulties. Women with endometriosis may have tissue implants that prevent fertilization. Women who have been trying for a year or more to get pregnant should visit their gynecologist for a comprehensive evaluation.
Endometriosis can be confusing. However, with proper gynecologic care, a woman can come to understand her body better than ever. Don’t suffer unusual gynecological symptoms in silence. Contact us at 937.771.5100 for an appointment at our Kettering or Englewood, OH office.