Endometriosis Awareness Month – What is endometriosis?
If you suffer from painful, heavy periods or infertility, you may have endometriosis. March is Endometriosis Awareness Month, so we’re explaining what this condition is, how to recognize its symptoms and how to treat it. Our Southern California fertility doctor can provide hope.
Endometriosis is a common disorder in women that can cause pain and lead to infertility. Tissue from the endometrium (the lining of the uterus) grows outside of the uterus.
When this tissue grows in other areas, it still acts like normal endometrial tissue. This means it still thickens and then breaks down and bleeds each month during your menstrual cycle. This tissue has nowhere to go, so it can become trapped and cause irritation and scarring.
Learn the symptoms during Endometriosis Awareness Month
While many women experience menstrual-related pain that is worse than regular monthly cramps, others have minimal pain. Here are some other symptoms of endometriosis.
- Unexplained abdominal, lower back or pelvic pain
- Pain during or after intercourse
- Heavy bleeding each month
- Bleeding or spotting in between periods
- Painful urination or bowel movements during your period
- Digestive or gastrointestinal problems during your period
Treatment for endometriosis varies depending on the severity of the symptoms and whether you hope to get pregnant. Our Southern California fertility doctor offers many solutions.
Over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) or naproxen sodium may help reduce pain and cramping. Hormone treatment may also be effective. This includes the use of birth-control pills or patches and medications that block the production of hormones, lower estrogen levels or prevent menstruation.
If these treatments don’t work, there are other options. If you don’t want to have children, a hysterectomy, or surgery to remove your uterus, will help. If you are hoping to have children, a more conservative approach could provide relief. In this case, our Southern California fertility doctor removes the endometrial tissue outside of the uterus in a less invasive procedure called laparoscopy.
If you’ve been suffering from the symptoms of endometriosis, contact us. We can help.