Learning About Endometriosis
Endometriosis is a disease in which tissue similar to the lining of the uterus grows in other places in the body outside of the womb, most commonly on the other organs of the pelvis. Symptoms often develop in the teenage years, but the condition usually isn’t diagnosed until women are in their 30’s and 40’s.
You are at higher risk if
- You have a mother, sister, or daughter with endometriosis
- Your period started at an early age
- Your monthly cycles are short (less than 27 days)
- Your menstrual cycles are heavy and last more than 7 days
- Your monthly cycles are associated with pain and cramping
You have a lower risk if
- Your periods started late in adolescence
- You regularly exercise more than four hours a week
- You do not have pain with your cycles
The primary symptom of endometriosis is pelvic pain, often associated with menstrual periods. Although many experience cramping during their menstrual periods, those with endometriosis typically describe menstrual pain that’s far worse than usual. Pain also may increase over time and become more frequent than the menstrual cycle.
Common signs and symptoms of endometriosis include:
- Painful periods (dysmenorrhea). Pelvic pain and cramping may begin before and extend several days into a menstrual period. You may also have lower back and abdominal pain.
- Pain with intercourse. Pain during or after sex is common with endometriosis.
- Pain with bowel movements or urination. You’re most likely to experience these symptoms during a menstrual period.
- Excessive bleeding. You may experience occasional heavy menstrual periods or bleeding between periods (intermenstrual bleeding).
- Infertility. Sometimes, endometriosis is first diagnosed in those seeking treatment for infertility.
- Other symptoms may include fatigue, diarrhea, constipation, bloating or nausea, especially during menstrual periods.
If you have symptoms of endometriosis, talk with one of our physicians.. We will work with you to get a diagnoses and choose a treatment plan that is best for you. If endometriosis is standing in your way of becoming pregnant our fertility services are comprehensive, compassionate and individualized.
For over 25 years, Carolina OB/GYN has proudly provided Compassionate Care for Women by Women.