Endometriosis is a notoriously under-diagnosed disease. Endometriosis awareness and education is still underwhelming, and most women are unaware of its symptoms despite its prevalence – an estimated one out of every 10 women are affected by it, but few receive an adequate diagnosis.
What are some basic facts about endometriosis?
- It can be found in women of all ages, including teenagers.
- It does not automatically equate to infertility, but it can potentially affect your ability to conceive.
- There is no cure for the disease, but effective treatment and lifestyle modification helps alleviate symptoms.
What are the symptoms of endometriosis?
It’s important to understand that this condition is not just a “tough menstrual cycle” that women just need to put up with each month. The heavy menstrual bleeding associated with endometriosis is a separate condition that is often confused with the disease. Symptoms tend to mimic other medical conditions because there of the wide range of symptoms that come with the disorder.
Women with endometriosis can experience:
- Irregular periods
- Heavy periods
- Pain and/or discomfort in the lower back, abdomen, pelvis, vagina or rectum
- Painful intercourse
- Painful bowel movements and/or constipation
- Painful urination
Initially, patients are often treated for gastrointestinal (GI) issues or advised to take over-the-counter (OTC) pain medications to relieve symptoms. However, the suffering experienced by women with endometriosis is simply too severe to be addressed with OTC medications. If left undiagnosed, the condition can drastically impact a woman’s quality of life.
How is endometriosis treated?
Endometriosis treatment is typically surgical or medicinal. Your provider may recommend a low dose of birth control, or your provider may recommend lifestyle medication intended to help relieve symptoms. Should surgery be required, your provider will provide options.
To discuss your symptoms with a provider, please contact PGOMG today.