5 Signs You May Have Endometriosis

The endometrium – tissue that lines the inside of your uterus – originates the physical changes that create your monthly menstrual cycle. This active, living tissue sometimes grows outside the uterus, causing problems that make up a condition called endometriosis. It’s an often-painful disorder with a host of symptoms and complications.

Dr. Margie Corney and the team at Women First GYN specialize in endometriosis diagnosis and treatment, and they should be your first call if you’re in the Chesapeake area. Here’s what you need to know about endometriosis, including five signs you may have the condition.

Endometriosis facts

Why endometriosis happens to some women and not others is unclear, and the reasons why it happens at all are subject to medical speculation. When it happens, uterine lining grows outside the uterus itself, most often in the Fallopian tubes, ovaries, or other tissue in your pelvis. It continues to behave normally though, cycling through menstrual changes, thickening to receive a fertilized egg, breaking down when that doesn’t happen, before finally bleeding.

Since this extra tissue may not have a way to leave your body, menstrual blood stays trapped, irritating surrounding tissue, causing cysts, adhesions, and scars over time. You could experience severe pain, often during your menstrual period. For some women, endometriosis causes fertility issues.

5 signs that you have endometriosis

1.      Period symptoms

Heavy periods are, by themselves, common and don’t mean you have endometriosis. However, if you note clots becoming more frequent or if heavy periods remain even after steps to treat them, endometriosis may be a contributor. Perhaps the most classic sign of endometriosis is menstrual pain that resists hormonal treatment, such as birth control pills, or relief with anti-inflammatory medications. However, you may experience menstrual pain without endometriosis, and not all women with endometriosis have pain. Period symptoms provide only clues. They can’t confirm the condition.

2.      Abdominal pain

Pain associated with endometriosis may not always present in the pelvis, nor does it always follow your menstrual cycle. When discharge from endometrial tissue collects where it can’t drain, you may feel pain in places you might not associate with pelvic organs. Your back, groin, or rectum may experience unusual pain. Blood-filled cysts called endometriomas may form and rupture, causing extreme pain.

3.      Digestive issues

Painful bowel movements, constipation, diarrhea, and other intestinal symptoms may owe their origin to endometriosis. Irritable bowel syndrome and endometriosis may create confused diagnoses for some women because of the symptoms they have in common.

4.      Painful sex

Feeling deep pain during or after sex could suggest endometriosis. Pain can even last as much as 24 hours after intercourse. Some women feel pain during orgasm, but they may not recognize it as connected. Painful intercourse combined with other endometriosis symptoms suggests a visit with Dr. Corney is prudent.

5.      Weak or no symptoms

Although endometriosis can cause extreme pain, it can also create mild symptoms or even none at all. You may have endometriosis without knowing it, and later, symptoms start appearing slowly, becoming worse over time.

If you suspect you may have endometriosis, or if you seek effective treatment for symptoms, contact Women First GYN by phone at 757-645-0294 or using the convenient online tool to book a consultation. There are effective treatments at hand, so schedule your appointment today. 

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