Approximately 10 percent of women have a condition called endometriosis, which can be very painful and even debilitating in some cases. In this condition, tissue that is normally found on the inside of the uterus, starts to grow outside of it, attaching itself to other organs, such as the bowel and bladder. Since it is not supposed to be there, the body isolates the foreign tissue and tries to stop its growth, which leads to the formation of scar tissue. The scar tissue as well as the presence of the endometrial tissue causes all sorts of problems, including the following four painful symptoms.
If you have endometriosis, you may experience exceptionally heavy periods along with more clotting than usual. This is due to the fact that all endometrial tissue responds to your body's hormones by swelling and bleeding during your menstrual cycle. Since you have more endometrial tissue than usual, you will bleed more than usual. During a normal period, women will go through up to seven sanitary products. If you're using more or double that amount, you are considered to have heavy and very heavy bleeding, respectively.
Some women with endometriosis cramp all the time, but the cramps usually tend to get more severe around the time of their period. The pain, usually located in the lower abdomen and back, is similar to regular period cramps, but it is way more severe. This intense pain is one of the main reasons why women seek treatment for their symptoms because it can interfere with their daily routine.
As mentioned, endometrial tissue can attach itself to your bowel and other organs. You may experience gastrointestinal issues as a result. Common symptoms include constipation, diarrhea, and painful bowel movements. Some women will even feel like they're constipated when they actually aren't. It's just the pain from the scar tissue.
Some women with endometriosis experience pain during or immediately after intercourse. The pain can also last into the day after. This pain can be even more pronounced around the time of your period because the tissue is more inflamed at this time.
As you can see, endometriosis has a host of painful symptoms. If you think you may be experiencing these symptoms, be sure to talk to your OBGYN about them. While there is no cure for endometriosis, it can be treated through a variety of medications and procedures.
If you have any of these syptoms, contact a gynecologist like Florham Park OB/GYN Dr. Donald Chervenak MD now.