Why endometriosis is considered a mysterious condition

By: Women's Care Florida Staff

Menstrual cramps are no joke — the throbbing pain, the bloating that follows, the urge to wear sweatpants for a week straight. There’s not much you can do to alleviate the pain, but pop a pain reliever and wait it out. However, if you’re experiencing severe pelvic pain during your menstruation cycle, then you might have a more serious health condition known as endometriosis.

Endometriosis affects over five million women in the United States, and occurs when uterine tissue, also known as the endometrium, is located in the wrong place, such as outside the uterus or on nearby organs. In a healthy menstruating woman, endometrium grows inside the uterus, and sheds every month during a woman’s period. In women with endometriosis, the tissue has no way of exiting the body when it sheds during menstruation. This causes severe pelvic pain and other symptoms that cause discomfort.

March marks Endometriosis Awareness month, so we’re sharing some helpful information to help inform and educate you about this mysterious disease.

What does having endometriosis feel like? Well, it is commonly described as pain far worse than your usual menstrual cramps.

Symptoms of endometriosis include:

  • Severe pain during menstruation
  • Pelvic pain any time of the month
  • Painful urination or bowel movements during menstruation
  • Infertility
  • Bloating, constipation, or diarrhea during menstruation
  • Extreme fatigue during menstruation

There is no known cause for endometriosis; however, the medical industry suspects that the condition is caused by the backup of uterine tissue into the fallopian tubes, which causes the tissue to flow into the abdominal cavity instead. Those who have a family history of endometriosis are at higher risk for developing this condition.

Diagnosing and treating endometriosis

Endometriosis can be detected and diagnosed through laparoscopic surgery, which is when a surgeon inserts a small camera into the abdominal cavity to check for endometrial tissue. If endometriosis is detected, your surgeon can remove the tissue using laser technology or other surgical tools.

Alternately, endometriosis can be treated using hormone medications such as birth control pills and medicines that block estrogen and progesterone for the sake of alleviating pain and other symptoms.

If you have endometriosis and are trying to become pregnant, inform your physician or gynecologist immediately, since some medications for treating endometriosis can cause harm to fetuses. In most cases, your doctor will instruct you to continue with medication to shrink the endometriosis before you try to get pregnant.

If you have been suffering from pelvic pain and other symptoms associated with endometriosis, make an appointment with your gynecologist. Or, find an OB/GYN at Women’s Care Florida. The sooner you are diagnosed, the sooner you can begin treatment and get back to enjoying a healthy, pain-free life.

If you are experiencing symptoms of endometriosis, please schedule an appointment with a doctor here.