Search

Don’t Suffer Silently from the Symptoms of Endometriosis

Endometriosis-Awareness
Endometriosis-Awareness

Most of us would agree that menstrual cramps can derail your entire day or week if you are one out of ten women who suffer from endometriosis. Pelvic pain associated with menstrual cycles (and even other times during the month) may be a symptom of endometriosis. This fairly common disease is rarely talked about, although symptoms can vary greatly in women. Many women suffer for years before receiving a diagnosis and appropriate treatment of this disease. Even after a diagnosis of endometriosis, some symptoms are still misunderstood and may be challenging to treat.

Endometriosis can impact women of any age, as early as the beginning of menstrual cycles through menopause. If left untreated, endometriosis can have a potentially severe impact on a woman’s quality of life. 

What Is It?

Endometriosis occurs when tissue from the endometrium (or endometrial lining) within the uterine cavity is found in other areas of the pelvis or abdomen. The tissue attaches itself to the fallopian tubes, ovaries, uterine ligaments,  bowel,  bladder or other places within the pelvic or abdominal cavity. While several theories exist of the origins of this disease, one of the most recognizable theories and most accepted in practice is the potential of retrograde menstruation. To understand this theory, you need to realize that most of this tissue is dispelled from the uterus each month with the menstrual cycle; however, with retrograde menstruation, we believe that some of the tissue escapes through the fallopian tubes and into the pelvis, where it later implants and grows. A family history or genetics may also play a role in the development of endometriosis for some women as well. 

Symptoms of Endometriosis

Symptoms may include menstrual cramps before or during your cycle, pain with intercourse or bowel movements, nausea or vomiting, gastrointestinal pain, pain in the legs or back, irregular menstrual bleeding, or infertility.  Many women may not realize that pain is actually not a normal part of the menstrual cycle. While these symptom may vary in intensity, some experience mild pain and others quite severe pain, and other women may not experience any pain at all but still have the disease.

Treatment Options

There is no reason not to receive treatment for endometriosis. The treatments can vary from easy, low cost options to more extensive treatments, including surgery. There are many options that can be tapered and individualized to each person. One of the first questions you need to consider is where you are in your childbearing years. Are you trying to become pregnant in the coming year or have you completed your family or is pregnancy many years away for you? Determining the best treatment options will be individualized between you and your provider. Short or long term use of oral contraceptives (birth control pills) or an IUD can suppress endometriosis. Lifestyle factors, including nutritional choices and avoiding inflammatory foods can be implemented to improve the symptoms associated with endometriosis. Non-steroidal anti inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) have been helpful in the treatment as well. 

These medications can be used on an “as needed” basis. The key to determining the best approach is the treatment that works for each individual. Several options are available. Acupuncture has been used as well to treat endometriosis pain, and may also provide other benefits for the individual choosing this option. If these medical and non-medical changes are not helpful, other interventions including surgical procedures can successfully treat the disease. Other medications called GnRH agonist (lupron or leuprolide) or antagonist (elagolix) can effectively treat endometriosis, but are not useful for patients attempting pregnancy. These medications can be given orally or as an injection for a specified time period, and may temporarily prevent menstrual cycles.

At The Woman’s Clinic, we have two convenient locations in Jackson or Madison to see you for evaluation. Our providers are dedicated to helping you discover the source of pain and the best treatment options. Please do not hesitate to make an appointment with us today, if you experience the signs or symptoms of endometriosis for further evaluation. 

Job Application

Job applications general and specific

Name(Required)
Address
Max. file size: 256 MB.
How did you hear about us?