Endometriosis is one of the most common gynecological conditions affecting women of childbearing age. However, many women suffer from their symptoms for years before getting the right diagnosis.
Monique Petteys, FNP-C, at The Women’s Center at Life Point Medical in Clayton, Georgia, understands how frustrating it is to suffer for so long with chronic pelvic pain and not know why.
Here, we want to share with you some of the most common symptoms of endometriosis.
1. Painful periods
Many women have cramping and pain during their period. But women with endometriosis tend to experience pain that’s far worse. This pain may start days before your period and last days after it ends.
Every month, your uterus grows endometrial tissue in anticipation of pregnancy. When you don’t get pregnant, your body sheds the lining through menstruation.
With endometriosis, you have endometrial-like tissue that grows outside your uterus, in areas like your ovaries, fallopian tubes, or the exterior of your uterus. This tissue grows and tries to shed just like the tissue that lines your uterus, causing bleeding inside the pelvic area.
2. Pain during intercourse
Pain during or after intercourse is also one of the signs of endometriosis. Many women describe their pain as “deep.” This pain is felt deep in the pelvic region, not in the vagina, during initial penetration.
3. Chronic pelvic pain
Pelvic pain is one of the telltale signs of endometriosis. Chronic pelvic pain is pain that lasts six or more months, whether your pain is all the time or only during your period.
The displaced endometrial tissue gets trapped in your pelvic region, irritating the surrounding tissue, causing inflammation and scarring that results in chronic pain.
4. Abnormal menstrual bleeding
Endometriosis may cause heavy menstrual bleeding or bleeding between your periods. This abnormal bleeding may be due to the displaced endometrial tissue.
However, it’s important to note that bleeding between your periods may have any number of causes, and it’s not a symptom you should ignore.
Whether you suspect your abnormal menstrual bleeding is from endometriosis or something else, schedule a consultation with us so we can find out what’s going on.
5. Pain when urinating
Do you have pain during your period when you urinate or have a bowel movement? This type of discomfort may be a symptom of endometriosis.
Infertility is the inability to get pregnant after 12 months of trying, or six months for women 35 and older. For many women, their infertility appointment may be the first time they learn that their difficulty conceiving is due to endometriosis.
7. Stomach problems
Endometriosis may cause abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, or constipation. In fact, many women with endometriosis may be misdiagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome or an inflammatory bowel disease before they finally get the right diagnosis.
Many women go years without the right diagnosis because pelvic pain is considered “normal.” If you have any of these symptoms and suspect endometriosis, let us help you get the answers you need.
Call our office for an appointment, or book a consultation with Nurse Petteys online.