Did you know at least 10% of women have endometriosis? Endometriosis occurs when the tissue that normally lines the uterus grows outside of the uterus, such as on the fallopian tubes, intestines, or bladder. Researchers believe many other women struggle with this painful condition but go undiagnosed.
Endometriosis is degenerative. This means it gets worse over time. The earlier you start treatment, the easier it is to avoid serious complications, such as infertility. Knowing the signs of this progressive condition can help you get the medical intervention you need.
At Southern Crescent Women’s HealthCare in Fayetteville, Newnan, and Stockbridge, Georgia, our providers are committed to helping women experience the best health possible. We created this guide so you can recognize the signs of endometriosis and start treatment as early as possible.
1. Problematic periods
The most common symptom of endometriosis is problematic periods. This includes:
- Extreme cramps
- Heavy bleeding
- Bleeding with large clots
- Periods that get worse over time
These symptoms can also be caused by other conditions. If you have any of them, schedule an appointment at Southern Crescent Women’s HealthCare to determine the cause.
2. Recurring pain in your tummy, back, or pelvic area
Endometriosis causes the lining of your uterus (endometrium) to grow outside of your womb. It gets worse every menstrual cycle. This is because the tissue keeps thickening and trying to break down like it would inside your uterus.
Since it can’t leave your body, it creates scarring. This process can trigger pain in your tummy, back, or pelvic area. Some women have pain in other places, too, depending on where the tissue grows.
3. Painful sex
Endometriosis can make sex painful. Many of our patients at Southern Crescent Women’s HealthCare describe the sensation as “deep pain.” Pain related to sex doesn’t always go away quickly. It can last up to 24 hours after you have sex.
Sex should never be painful. Pain during or after sex means something is wrong. If you’re experiencing painful sex, schedule a visit with one of our providers to figure out why.
4. Digestive troubles
The endometrial tissue outside your uterus grows each menstrual cycle. One of the most common locations is on and around the intestinal tract and other abdominal organs. This can lead to many digestive symptoms, including:
- Difficult or painful bowel movements
Some women get misdiagnosed with IBS (irritable bowel syndrome). This is because their digestive symptoms are so severe. If you have these symptoms, be sure to talk about them with your Southern Crescent Women’s HealthCare provider.
Endometriosis can lead to trouble with fertility. Many women get diagnosed with the condition when they experience infertility. If you’ve struggled to conceive, this condition could be why. This could be true even if you don’t have other symptoms.
The good news is that many treatments exist to help manage endometriosis, including:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- Birth control pills
- Progestin-only medications
- Gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists
- Orilissa® (FDA-approved endometriosis pain medication)
The sooner you visit our team for a diagnosis the better. Early treatment could improve your chances of getting pregnant.
If you’re concerned about endometriosis, call 770-991-2200 or book an appointment online with Southern Crescent Women’s HealthCare today.