Affecting one out of every 10 women, endometriosis is considered a common reproductive disease. Even though it is so prevalent in the population, many women are plagued by painful periods for years before they are informed about the possibility of having endometriosis.
So, what exactly causes this disease? While a healthy uterus is lined with tissue, women with endometriosis grow uterine lining outside the uterus. This tissue can grow in places it shouldn't, like the fallopian tubes or intestines. This can be dangerous, as abnormal growth can cause ovarian cysts and infertility.
Symptoms of Endometriosis
The most common symptom of endometriosis is painful periods (cyclic monthly pelvic pain and cramping), which may begin before menstrual bleeding and extend to several days after bleeding stops. Symptoms can also extend beyond mensuration, and include pain with intercourse, bowel movements, or urination.
Diagnosis for Endometriosis
Endometriosis must be confirmed by surgery, but the diagnosis is often made by history alone. The severity is classified into four stages depending on the number of lesions and depth of infiltration: minimal (Stage I), mild (Stage II), moderate (Stage III) and severe (Stage IV).
Treatment for Endometriosis
Unfortunately, endometriosis is very unlikely to go away on its own. Treatment has been shown to radically reduce symptoms for many patients. Typical treatment for endometriosis starts with NSAIDs like Ibuprofen, but hormonal options like birth control pills and the IUD are often most effective.
If you have painful periods, we recommend you make an appointment to speak with one of our specialized clinicians. We'd be happy to talk through your symptoms and discuss treatment options.
Get Help Now