Approximately 11% of women ages 15-44 in the United States may be affected by endometriosis. The reason why researchers use the word “may” is because many cases of endometriosis go undiagnosed due to a misunderstanding of the symptoms.
To help our patients understand if they may be dealing with endometriosis, Ulas Bozdogan, MD, and our team here at Advanced Endometriosis Center have compiled the top five signs that this reproductive health issue may be present.
Endometriosis and its symptoms
Endometriosis is a condition in which endometrial tissue — which normally lines the uterus — grows outside the uterus. This tissue often attaches itself to neighboring organs, such as the ovaries and fallopian tubes, as well as to the outside of the uterus.
As you go through your menstrual cycles each month, this tissue still thickens and then attempts to shed out — except it has nowhere to go. This can result in a number of symptoms, such as the following:
1. Painful periods
Most women are no strangers to some pain and discomfort during their reproductive years, especially when it comes to menstruation. While some cramping is normal when you have your period, women with endometriosis may experience rather painful cramps that generally get worse over time.
As mentioned, with endometriosis, endometrial tissue grows outside the organ. When it tries to shed and has nowhere to go, adhesions can develop, which can cause excessive cramping during your periods.
2. Pain during sex
Many women with endometriosis complain of pain during intercourse. This type of pain is often described as a deep pain (not one that sometimes accompanies initial penetration).
3. Spotting in between periods
This symptom of endometriosis is another tricky one, as there are several reasons why you may spot in between periods. Whether or not endometriosis is behind your abnormal bleeding, this is one symptom we urge you to have us check out.
4. Digestive issues
Many women with endometriosis report gastrointestinal distress in the form of bloating, constipation, nausea, and diarrhea, especially during their periods. Here again, these issues can crop up for a number of reasons, but if you’re experiencing gastrointestinal distress alongside any of the other symptoms outlined here, you may be dealing with endometriosis.
If you’re struggling to conceive, endometriosis is one of the more common causes of infertility. In fact, 30-50% of women who have endometriosis are infertile.
Diagnosing and treating endometriosis
If you’ve read through this list of common symptoms of endometriosis, and you have one or more of them, the best way to find out if you have this condition is to come see us. As our name implies, we specialize in diagnosing and treating endometriosis. We’ll give you a thorough evaluation and, if you have the condition, we’ll explain your treatment options.
Our primary goal when it comes to endometriosis is to restore your quality of life and relieve your pain. To learn more, book an appointment online or over the phone with Advanced Endometriosis Center today.