The symptoms that can develop because of endometriosis read like a list of a woman’s worst nightmares — painful sex, painful periods, infertility, lack of energy. Drag these symptoms out over years and you can see why endometriosis can have an incredibly large impact on your quality of life and mental health.
Ulas Bozdogan, MD, who leads the team of women’s health experts at Advanced Endometriosis Center, is keenly aware of the impact that endometriosis can have on a woman’s life and has devoted his career to finding solutions.
While we have plenty of information regarding the physical impact that endometriosis can have on your body, we feel that the mental, emotional, and even social toll this disease can exact is worth discussing.
Dealing with endometriosis pain
One of the hallmarks of endometriosis is pain, which can take on many forms, such as:
- Dysmenorrhea — painful periods
- Dyspareunia — pain during sex
- Pelvic pain
- Lower back pain
- Pain during urination or defecation
This pain can come and go with your menstrual cycles or become a constant companion if your endometriosis is severe enough.
When you’re in chronic pain, your body is in a state of near-constant stress, which increases the likelihood that you may develop anxiety or depression related to the pain. In fact, one report found that, “chronic pain, as a stress state, often induced depression and that up to 85% of patients with chronic pain are affected by severe depression.”
Taking a more specific look at endometriosis, a study of nearly 250 women with endometriosis concluded that the pain, not the disease, increased the prevalence of depression.
Making matters more complicated, the relationship between chronic pain and your mental health is bi-directional, with each contributing to the other. Another report states that, “Depression and anxiety share the same pathophysiological pathways as pain and can have a reciprocal effect on each other.”
Ultimately, if your endometriosis is causing severe discomfort, the pain can take on a life of its own and cause serious mental health issues the longer you struggle with the problem. As well, this constant state of stress that pain causes in your body can leave you fatigued and unable to function well in your life.
Endometriosis and infertility
Another way in which endometriosis can affect your mental health is when it causes infertility. If you’ve dreamed of having a family and you find yourself unable to get pregnant, the mental health toll can be great.
As well, to learn that endometriosis is the cause of your infertility can be disheartening as your treatment options for managing your endometriosis can prevent pregnancy, either in the short term or the long term.
At our practice, Dr. Bozdogan excels in fertility-saving endometriosis procedures in which he removes particularly dense adhesions that may stand in the way of your ability to get pregnant. Using the most advanced techniques available, including the robotic daVinci system, Dr. Bozdogan has been able to help scores of women realize their family-building dreams.
Getting back to a normal life
If your quality of life has suffered at the hands of endometriosis, we’re here to help. Whether you opt for more aggressive treatment options, such as a fertility-preserving procedure or a hysterectomy, or you prefer a conservative approach, we can help.
To discuss your treatment options so you can reclaim your quality of life and your mental health, book an appointment online or over the phone with Advanced Endometriosis Center today.