What exactly is endometriosis? Many of us have heard the
term, but don’t really know what this condition is. The long and short of it is
this; in a healthy woman, the uterus has a lining that grows inside of it. Endometriosis causes this lining to grow outside the uterus on places it shouldn’t,
like the fallopian tubes, ovaries and even abdominal organs, causing a lot of
pain. Long term, endometriosis can also lead to infertility and therefore difficulties
This condition affects more women than you think; about 5
million women suffer with endometriosis. Most women endure pain and cramps around
that time of the month, but for those with endometriosis, their period and the
pain associated with it can be intense and downright debilitating. Like can’t
even get out of bed pain, bring on the heating pad and pain reliever every 4
hours type of pain.
With endometriosis, not only is there intense cramps and pain
right before and during your period, but often women will experience chronic belly
pain and/or lower back pain. And if that isn’t bad enough, endometriosis can
make sex uncomfortable too. What’s a woman to do?
Making an appointment with your doctor is key. Let her know
your symptoms as well as when and where your pain occurs. Your doctor can
perform a pelvic exam or possibly perform an ultrasound which will identify
cysts associated with endometriosis.
There are effective treatment options for endometriosis. Your
healthcare provider will steer you in the right direction when it comes to the best
type of treatment for you. There are a couple of ways to treat endometriosis.
Your doctor can prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs or birth control pills. Birth
control pills will cause your period to be lighter and provide relief from
cramping pain. Surgery may also be an option, providing significant, though
short-term pain relief. Your best option is to talk to your doctor and figure
out the best way to treat your symptoms. The caring and compassionate staff at
GPWHC is here to listen and help you understand endometriosis in order live more comfortably with it.