What is this…and why do we care?
Endometriosis can be a health concern for some women. It is a condition where the tissue of the uterus can begin to grow on other areas of the pelvic area such as the ovaries, fallopian tubes and even outside of the uterus. It can become a thick tissue that really creates problems. In some cases this rogue tissue can bleed, just as normal endometrial tissue would during a woman’s monthly cycle. Endometriosis can affect 2-10 percent of women of child bearing age according to Johns Hopkins Medicine.
For some women, the condition can be mild at first and go unnoticed. It can take 7-10 years to get a diagnosis. For others, they may experience an increase of both pelvic pain and periods. There can be bleeding as the thickened tissue breaks down. Fertility problems can also be one of the clues to endometriosis. One thing to remember is that pain isn’t an accurate gauge as to the severity of this condition.
There isn’t a definite cause of endometriosis so it’s important if you notice some of these symptoms, and changes to your monthly cycle, you should see a doctor to rule out problems. Even though we don’t know the exact cause, there are treatments available.
- Pain management for cramps.
- Hormone therapy if you aren’t planning to get pregnant. This helps stabilize the rise and fall of hormones throughout your cycle.
- Surgery to remove the endometrial tissue
- Fertility treatments
- Hysterectomy to remove the ovaries.
The take away here is that endometriosis is a common condition and with early intervention, treatment can be successful. As with most conditions, prevention and early intervention are key. Keep up on your early exams and maintain and healthy diet and manage stress.