Endometriosis affects at least 10% of American women, causing problematic periods and other painful symptoms. The condition affects the tissue that lines your uterus, called the endometrium, causing it to grow outside the womb.
Each month, when you get your period, the endometrium breaks down and sheds. But for the tissue outside your uterus, it can’t leave your body, causing inflammation and irritation. Over time, this leads to scar tissue and even infertility.
At Alpenglow Gynecology in Littleton, Colorado, Rickie Guida, WHNP-BC and our care team diagnose and treat endometriosis. Before you can get help, however, it’s important to understand the warning signs of this common condition. Here’s a look at the top signs of endometriosis.
Painful, problematic periods are the most common symptom of endometriosis. This includes period-related symptoms, such as:
If you’re struggling with painful periods or other period-related symptoms, don’t wait to schedule an appointment with Rickie to uncover the cause.
When you have endometriosis, the lining of your uterus grows in places it shouldn’t. This can lead to significant abdominal, back, and/or pelvic pain when the tissue tries to shed each month with your menstrual cycle.
While women experience pain in different places, the most common areas to experience endometrial pain include the pelvic area, abdomen, and back. Unfortunately, this pain usually gets worse with time as the scar tissue builds.
Endometriosis can make sexual intercourse painful. Many women describe it as a “deep pain,” which can last up to 24 hours after you have sex. It’s important to remember that sex should never be painful.
Besides endometriosis, painful intercourse can be a sign of other gynecological issues. If you’re experiencing pain during or after sex, be sure to schedule a visit with Rickie to get to the bottom of your discomfort.
The endometrial tissue outside your uterus keeps growing each month. Unfortunately, one of the frequent locations is on and around the intestinal tract and other abdominal organs.
With this tissue growing and trying to shed each month, digestive symptoms can result. Some of the more common include::
It’s important to note that these digestive symptoms can be severe enough to lead to a misdiagnosis of IBS (irritable bowel syndrome). Be sure to tell Rickie about any digestive symptoms you’re experiencing so she can evaluate you for endometriosis.
Sadly, many women only get diagnosed with endometriosis after struggling from infertility. If you’ve had trouble conceiving — even if you don’t have any other signs of the condition — endometriosis could be the reason.
It’s important to visit Rickie and the team at Alpenglow Gynecology as soon as possible if you’re experiencing infertility. The sooner you get an accurate diagnosis, the sooner you can start treatments to help you start or continue your family.
Recognize any of these warning signs of endometriosis? Schedule a consultation online or over the phone with Rickie at Alpenglow Gynecology in Littleton, Colorado, as soon as possible.