For the majority of women, cramping, pain and bleeding are a part of their monthly menstrual cycle. But how do you know if your symptoms are more severe than normal? Endometriosis is a very common condition that 1 in 10 United States women experience. Unfortunately, it is also a condition that goes undiagnosed, leaving countless women suffering its disruptive and painful symptoms without relief. While treatments for endometriosis are limited, there are ways to alleviate the pain and reduce the amount of bleeding involved – from dietary changes and acupuncture to birth control pills and painkillers.
What Is Endometriosis?
This painful disorder develops when the tissue that normally lines the inside of your uterus begins to build up outside the uterus. This can cause tissue buildup around the ovaries, fallopian tubes and pelvis lining. Sufferers of endometriosis often experience cysts, pain and even fertility problems. While the common age for endometriosis is 25-35, any woman who has had a period is at risk.
What Are The Symptoms?
When it comes to endometriosis, it’s important to track your symptoms and discuss them with your gynecologist (even if some of them may be embarrassing.) The following eight symptoms are most often associated with endometriosis:
- Severe Cramps – Do your cramps keep your from working or going to school?
- Long Periods – Do you have a period less than every 21 days? Does your period last longer than 7 days?
- Heavy Flow – Are you changing your pad or tampon every two hours or less?
- Bowel Disturbances – Do you have excess gas, diarrhea or painful bowel movements during your period?
- Nausea or Migraines – Does your monthly cycle involve migraine headaches or vomiting?
- Pain During Sex – Are there certain positions during sex that cause notable pain?
- Infertility – Are you struggling to conceive or carry a baby to full term?
- Chronic Fatigue – Are you napping more than usual or feel dizzy during the day?
If you can identify with some or all of the above symptoms, please schedule your appointment with our team of experts at North Pointe OB/GYN. We have helped countless women manage the disruptive side effects of endometriosis. Menstrual cycles are never pleasant, but they should not cause extreme pain and other symptoms that impact your quality of life.