Healthy Tip Tuesday – Endometriosis Awareness

(U.S.) – 1 in 10 women in the United States are impacted by a painful illness and many others remain undiagnosed.

Healthy Tip Tuesday is brought to you by Trinity Hospital Twin City. 

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According to the Mayo Clinic, Endometriosis is sometimes mistaken for other conditions that can cause pelvic pain such as pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) or ovarian cysts. It can also be confused with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

The primary symptom of endometriosis is pelvic pain, often associated with menstrual periods. Although many experience cramping during their menstrual periods, those with endometriosis typically describe menstrual pain that’s far worse than usual. Pain also may increase over time.

Common signs and symptoms of endometriosis include:

  • Painful periods (dysmenorrhea). Pelvic pain and cramping may begin before and extend several days into a menstrual period. You may also have lower back and abdominal pain.
  • Pain with intercourse. Pain during or after sex is common with endometriosis.
  • Pain with bowel movements or urination. You’re most likely to experience these symptoms during a menstrual period.
  • Excessive bleeding. You may experience occasional heavy menstrual periods or bleeding between periods (intermenstrual bleeding).
  • Infertility. Sometimes, endometriosis is first diagnosed in those seeking treatment for infertility.
  • Other signs and symptoms. You may experience fatigue, diarrhea, constipation, bloating or nausea, especially during menstrual periods.

Endometriosis is when the kind of tissue that normally lines the uterus grows somewhere else, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It can grow on the ovaries, behind the uterus, on the bowels, or on the bladder.

The “misplaced” tissue can not only cause pain but infertility and very heavy periods as well. The pain is usually in the abdomen, lower back, or pelvic areas. Some women may even have no symptoms at all with the first sign of endometriosis being when they have trouble getting pregnant.

When to see a doctor

The Mayo Clinic notes you should see your doctor if you have signs and symptoms that may indicate endometriosis.

Endometriosis can be a challenging condition to manage. An early diagnosis, a multidisciplinary medical team and an understanding of your diagnosis may result in better management of your symptoms.

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