An estimated one in 10 people who menstruate have endometriosis, yet diagnosis takes an average of eight years. Recognizing the signs may help prompt you to get the care you need and the relief you deserve.
When you have endometriosis, tissue that normally lines your uterus grows outside of it. So rather than break down and bleed with your periods, as it’s supposed to, it gets trapped within your body — typically around your ovaries and fallopian tubes. And that trapped tissue can cause a range of potentially debilitating symptoms.
At Melissa Grier, MD, Women’s Healthcare in Pasadena, California, Dr. Grier and her team diagnose and treat endometriosis and provide effective, customized treatment plans.
Read on to learn more about this condition, including signs worth taking seriously.
Common signs of endometriosis
Endometriosis affects people differently, but pain, digestive symptoms, and emotional challenges are common. Specific signs of endometriosis may include:
- Bloating or nausea
- Depressive moods
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Heavy or long-lasting menstrual flow
- Lasting fatigue
- Lower back and abdominal pain with your periods
- Painful bowel movements or urination, especially during menstruation
- Pain during or after intercourse
- Painful ovulation
- Painful periods, with pelvic pain and cramping that may start beforehand and last for several days in
- Severe pelvic pain
If you experience pain around intercourse, you might also notice that your desire for sex declines as you start assoicating sex with more pain than pleasure.
Endometriosis may also impact your ability to get pregnant. In fact, you might receive the diagnosis while seeking infertility treatment. While the connection isn’t fully understood, up to 50% of people with endometriosis are infertile as well.
Getting the care you need
Ignoring signs of endometriosis can lead to prolonged suffering and exacerbated symptoms. If you’re experiencing them, Dr. Grier can rule out or diagnose the condition by way of a comprehensive exam, imaging tests, and minimally invasive laparoscopy to search for and assess any abnormalities in your pelvis.
Once you're diagnosed with endometriosis, a personalized treatment plan can go far in minimizing your symptoms. Depending on your needs and overall health, as well as the severity of your symptoms, yours may include:
- Hormone therapy
- Over-the-counter pain medication
- Fertility treatment
- Minimally invasive surgery
Surgery is generally reserved for severe cases that don’t respond to more conservative treatments. During the procedure, Dr. Grier uses the daVinci® robotic surgery system to precisely excise endometriosis tissue.
To learn more about endometriosis symptoms or get the treatment you need, call our office or schedule an appointment with Dr. Grier through our online booking feature.