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  • Writer's pictureBosque Women's Care

Is it endometriosis?

Endometriosis is a chronic and often misunderstood women's health condition that affects millions of women worldwide. It occurs when the tissue that lines the uterus, known as the endometrium, grows outside the uterus, causing pain and other disruptive symptoms. This article will provide an overview of endometriosis, including its causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and management options. By shedding light on this complex condition, we aim to increase awareness and support for those affected by endometriosis.

What is Endometriosis? Endometriosis is a condition where endometrial-like tissue (tissue like the normal lining of the uterus) grows outside the uterus, commonly found on the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and the tissue lining the pelvis. This misplaced tissue responds to hormonal changes in the same way as the lining of the uterus, causing inflammation, pain, and other symptoms.

Endometriosis is an estrogen-dependent disease, meaning estrogen is fuel that helps endometriosis to grow. Endometriosis cells can also create their own estrogen, creating a painful cycle.

While surgery used to be required to diagnose endometriosis, now it is more often diagnosed based on an individual’s symptoms. Surgery can be used to treat endometriosis, but since endometriosis is considered a chronic problem that cannot be cured, medications are often preferred instead of repeated surgeries.

Signs and Symptoms The symptoms of endometriosis can vary from person to person, and some women may experience mild symptoms while others endure severe pain. Common signs and symptoms include:

  1. Pelvic pain: Persistent pelvic pain, often worsening during menstruation or sexual intercourse, is a hallmark symptom of endometriosis.

  2. Painful periods: Severe menstrual cramps that may disrupt daily activities.

  3. Heavy or irregular bleeding: Excessive or irregular menstrual bleeding that is not typical for the individual.

  4. Painful bowel movements or urination: Endometriosis affecting the bowel or bladder can cause pain during bowel movements or urination, especially during menstruation.

  5. Infertility: Endometriosis can contribute to fertility challenges or difficulties in getting pregnant.

Diagnosis and Treatment Options Endometriosis can be challenging to diagnose definitively, as its symptoms overlap with other conditions. The following approaches are commonly used in diagnosing endometriosis:

  1. Medical history and physical examination: A detailed discussion of symptoms and a pelvic examination can provide initial insights.

  2. Imaging tests: Ultrasounds or MRIs may help identify endometriotic lesions, cysts, or other structural abnormalities.

  3. Laparoscopy: A surgical procedure that allows direct visualization and confirmation of endometriotic lesions.

Treatment options for endometriosis focus on symptom management and may include:

  1. Pain medication: Over-the-counter pain relievers or prescription medications can help alleviate pain and discomfort.

  2. Hormonal therapies: Hormonal treatments, such as progestins, oral contraceptives, or hormonal IUDs, can help regulate hormone levels and reduce symptoms.

  3. Endometriosis-specific medications: Since endometriosis requires estrogen to grow, the most effective medications reduce estrogen levels to starve it of fuel. The newest medications lower estrogen levels enough to treat the endometriosis but not so low as to cause symptoms of low estrogen-like hot flashes or mood changes.

  4. Surgical interventions: Laparoscopic surgery may be recommended to remove endometriotic lesions, scar tissue, or cysts, improving symptoms and fertility outcomes.

  5. Lifestyle changes: Incorporating a healthy diet, regular exercise, stress management techniques, and adequate rest can contribute to overall well-being and symptom relief.

Support and Empowerment Living with endometriosis can be physically and emotionally challenging. Seeking support from healthcare professionals, support groups, and loved ones is crucial. Online communities and advocacy organizations dedicated to endometriosis can also provide valuable information, resources, and a sense of community.

Endometriosis is a complex and often misunderstood condition that affects many women worldwide. By understanding the signs, seeking timely diagnosis, and exploring treatment options, women with endometriosis can find relief and support. Increasing awareness, advocacy, and research efforts are essential to improve the understanding, diagnosis, and management of endometriosis. Together, we can empower individuals with endometriosis and work towards a future where their experiences are validated, and their quality of life is improved.

Bosque Women’s Care’s providers are all highly trained experts in endometriosis. They can help assess your symptoms and discuss options, including surgery or medications for achieving your best health.

Call 505-847-4100 to schedule an appointment or visit the website for more information or to schedule online

(c) 2023 Bosque Women's Care


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