Painful periods and heavy menstrual flow require an examination by your gynecologist as soon as possible. These issues could stem from endometriosis, a chronic condition that occurs when uterine tissues grow elsewhere in the body. This tissue also responds to the menstrual cycle, which causes a host of complications when it can't be expelled like tissue within the uterus. Here are a few facts about endometriosis to ensure you receive timely medical care.
What to Know About Endometriosis
What causes this condition?
Doctors aren't entirely sure what causes endometriosis, although several risk factors have been identified. In general, a family history of the condition increases your chance of developing it yourself. It's also more common in women who've started menstruation early, as well as those who've never given birth. High estrogen levels may also play a role, as can having extremely heavy periods that extend beyond seven days.
What are the signs and symptoms?
Symptoms usually become evident a few years after the start of menstruation, often around age 25. Some women have no symptoms, while others experience significant pelvic pain. Pain can occur during menstruation, as well as during and after intercourse.
Some people also experience it during urination or bowel movements. Periods tend to be particularly heavy and are often accompanied by bloating and fatigue.
How does it affect fertility?
Endometriosis can affect fertility in a few ways. If scar tissue develops in the fallopian tubes, it will be impossible for sperm and egg to meet. Even without scar tissue development, the condition can still have a negative effect on egg development, which makes conceiving more difficult.
How can it be treated?
Anti-inflammatory medications can be used to treat minor to moderate pain caused by endometriosis. For more serious cases, your gynecologist may prescribe medication containing hormones, such as birth control pills. By stopping menstruation, it's possible to stop many of this condition's effects.
Fertility treatments like IVF are recommended for women who are unable to conceive due to the disorder. Surgery is another option, and this entails removing the excess tissue from pelvic organs to improve the chance of conception.
No matter what symptoms you're experiencing, the gynecologists at Greece OB-GYN, LLP can provide a fast and accurate diagnosis. For over three decades, this compassionate team has supported women in Rochester, NY, on their journey through life. Along with treating women's health disorders, they also provide family planning assistance, obstetrical care, STD screenings, and more. They even offer evening hours for your convenience. Visit their website to browse their services or call (585) 225-6680 to schedule an appointment today.