While it may seem like second nature for women to experience some level of pelvic or gastrointestinal distress, those bothersome symptoms aren’t necessarily just a normal part of being a woman – and they definitely shouldn’t be dismissed.
It’s crucial to recognize and speak up about your symptoms. Endometriosis is an often-underdiagnosed condition, but accessing treatment can ease pain and help prevent any potential complications.
Each time you have your period, your uterus is shedding its lining – a lining that’s made up of endometrial tissue. But in 1 in 10 women, this endometrial tissue also grows outside of the uterus on the ovaries, fallopian tubes, outer uterus, bladder, intestines, and/or rectum.
The excess tissue still responds as it would in the uterus during a menstrual cycle – thickening, breaking down, and bleeding – but it gets trapped. The resulting inflammation, scar tissue, and lesions create a painful condition called endometriosis.
Any girl or woman who has menstrual periods can be affected, but it’s most common during your 30s and 40s. The diagnosis is often missed since the symptoms often mimic other conditions, especially gastrointestinal disorders.
You may experience just a few or many of the symptoms below:
While there isn’t an exact known cause of the condition, there are treatments and support available to make life with endometriosis more manageable.
The most important step is to open a conversation with your Seven Hills provider about your symptoms. Your provider may then recommend:
Partner with your provider to find a treatment combination that reduces your symptoms and protects your health.
Your most powerful resources – early detection and access to treatment – can help you protect and care for your reproductive system.
Many women with endometriosis can conceive naturally and carry a health pregnancy, but inflammation and scar tissue affect fertility for up to 50% of women. Surgical treatment may be an option, especially if endometriosis is found in the early stages, and it often results in an increased ability for you to become pregnant and carry to term.
If your fertility has been affected by endometriosis, be sure to empower yourself with knowledge and support and reach out to your provider to discuss your next steps.