Published March 24, 2017
March is Endometriosis Awareness month – a good time to learn more about a disease that affects nearly 176 million women worldwide.
What is Endometriosis?
Especially common among women in their 30s and 40s, endometriosis occurs when the lining of the uterus grows on ovaries, or the bowel, rectum, bladder, and pelvic area. These cells tend to grow and bleed as your hormones fluctuate, which is why symptoms may become more prevalent during menstruation. Symptoms caused by the overgrown tissue include:
- Painful periods
- Pain the lower belly
- Lower back cramps for several weeks
- Pain caused by sexual intercourse or bowel movements
It may be harder for a woman with endometriosis to get pregnant, with an estimate of 30-40% of women with this disease experiencing problems. However, it does not mean that a woman is guaranteed to be infertile. There are still options for having children for those with endometriosis.
Who is At Risk for Developing Endometriosis?
While endometriosis can be caused by a number of different things, you may be more likely to develop endometriosis if you:
- Have a first-degree relative with endometriosis
- Started your period at a young age
- Never had children
- Have frequent periods or they last more than 7 days
- Have an immune system dysfunction
It is important to see your OBGYN on a regular basis to determine your susceptibility for endometriosis. If you are experiencing any of the above, or think that you fall into a high-risk category, contact your physician today.
What are the Treatment Options for Endometriosis?
The onset of endometriosis typically occurs during a woman’s menstruating years, but usually isn’t diagnosed until ages 25 to 35. While there is no cure for endometriosis, there are several treatments to help relieve symptoms and prevent the endometriosis from getting worse. The best treatment for you will depend on several factors and is something you should discuss with your doctor. If pain interferes with your daily life, it is a good idea to discuss the following treatment options with your doctor to help relieve your symptoms:
- Pain relievers. To manage pain and cramping, over-the-counter pain relievers, prescription painkillers, and relaxation techniques may help.
- Hormone therapy. Birth control pills, progesterone pills or injections, and other medications can stop endometriosis from worsening, but will prevent you from getting pregnant.
- Surgery. Undergoing surgery is the only definitive way to diagnose endometriosis, and it is usually removed at the same time.
If you experience a significant increase in pain or other endometriosis symptoms, schedule an appointment with Comprehensive Women’s Care today by visiting us online or calling (614) 583-5552.
Tags: Endometriosis, Endometriosis pain, pelvic pain