Endometriosis is a condition in which the tissue that forms the lining of the uterus (the endometrium) grows outside of the uterus. It’s a condition that’s often painful, and it affects about one in ten women of reproductive age. Consult with your OBGYN in Jacksonville if you think you may be suffering from this condition. Here are five things you should know about endometriosis.
1. What Occurs with Endometriosis?
Areas of endometrium (also called implants) most commonly affect the ovaries, fallopian tubes, uterus, bladder, intestines, and rectum. These implants react to estrogen and may grow and bleed as the uterine lining does during your period. The surrounding tissue may become inflamed and irritated. The breakdown and bleeding of endometrium each month can cause scar tissue, or adhesions, to form.
2. Symptoms of Endometriosis Can Vary.
The symptoms of endometriosis can be different for each woman. Most often, women with this condition experience pelvic pain and more painful than usual menstrual cramps. Following are some of the other signs and symptoms of endometriosis.
- Painful periods: abdominal pain, cramping, headaches, pelvic pain and back pain during your menstrual cycle.
- Atypical bleeding: periods are often unusually heavy and you may have bleeding in between cycles.
- Painful intercourse: you may experience pain during or after sex.
- Painful bowel movements: endometriosis often causes painful bowel movements, especially during your period. It may also cause diarrhea, constipation or bloating.
Please speak with your OBGYN in Jacksonville if you’re experiencing any of the above signs and symptoms of endometriosis.
3. There’s a Link Between Endometriosis and Infertility.
Infertility is another indicator of this condition. Nearly 40% of women who experience fertility issues have endometriosis. This may be due to inflammation damaging the sperm or egg, or it may make it difficult for them to move through the fallopian tubes or uterus. The fallopian tubes may be blocked by adhesions or scar tissue in advanced cases.
4. Diagnosing Endometriosis can be Difficult.
Diagnosing endometriosis can be challenging because every woman experiences this condition differently. Many of the symptoms also mimic other conditions, like pelvic inflammatory disease or irritable bowel syndrome. Your OBGYN in Jacksonville will begin with a physical/pelvic exam and discussing your symptoms with you. The only true way to confirm that you have endometriosis is through a surgical procedure called laparoscopy.
5. There is Treatment for Endometriosis.
The treatment options for endometriosis depend on numerous factors, including the severity of the symptoms and your desire to have children. When pain is the primary factor that you want to address, medication is typically the first step. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and hormonal medications may help. Surgery can be performed to remove endometriosis implants to reduce pain and improve fertility. Some women also find that lifestyle changes such as exercising and sticking to a healthy diet help improve their symptoms.
Call an OBGYN in Jacksonville
Endometriosis can be a very painful condition, but you don’t have to suffer. Speak with your healthcare provider about treatment options and ways to manage your condition. Contact Women’s Physicians of Jacksonville to schedule an appointment at (904) 296-2441.