Could Your Pelvic Pain be Endometriosis?

March is Endometriosis Awareness month – a good time to learn more about a disease that affects nearly 176 million women worldwide.

What is Endometriosis?

Especially common among women in their 30s and 40s, endometriosis occurs when the lining of the uterus grows on ovaries, bowel, rectum, bladder, or pelvic area. These cells tend to grow and bleed as your hormones fluctuate, which is why symptoms may become worse during menstruation.

Symptoms caused by the overgrown tissue include:

It may be harder for a woman with endometriosis to get pregnant, but it does not mean she is guaranteed to be infertile. It is estimated that 30-40% of women with this disease have problems becoming pregnant.

Who is At Risk for Developing Endometriosis?

You may be more likely to develop endometriosis if you:

What are the Treatments Options for Endometriosis?

The onset of endometriosis typically occurs during a woman’s menstruating years but usually isn’t diagnosed until ages 25 to 35.

While there is no cure for endometriosis, there are several treatments to help relieve symptoms and prevent the endometriosis from getting worse. The best treatment for you will depend on several factors and is something you should discuss with your doctor.

If pain interferes with your daily life, it is a good idea to discuss the following treatment options with your doctor to help relieve your symptoms:

If you experience a significant change in pain or other endometriosis symptoms, schedule an appointment with your OBGYN.

Sources:

http://endometriosis.org/frequently-asked-questions-faq/

http://www.nytimes.com/health/guides/disease/endometriosis/overview.html

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