Endometriosis is a condition that happens when tissue that’s similar to uterine tissue — known as endometrial tissue — grows outside your uterine cavity, typically in your ovaries, bowels, and pelvic region.
This endometrial tissue acts just like uterine tissue, swelling and bleeding during your period; however, the tissue then has nowhere to go. As a result, it can lead to scarring, irritation, adhesions, fertility problems, and severe pain during your period.
Unfortunately, endometriosis is hard to diagnose since it so closely mimics other conditions such as ovarian cysts. So, at Women’s Specialty Care, located in Grayslake and Lake Forest, Illinois, Karen Mass, MD, FACOG, and the rest of our team want you to know what signs and symptoms to look out for that could signal you have endometriosis so you can get a proper diagnosis and treatment.
Signs and symptoms of endometriosis can vary widely from person to person. It’s important to note that the severity of your symptoms does not correlate to the severity of your condition. Some may have a mild form of endometriosis and yet experience severe pain. The opposite can also be true, with those having a severe case of endometriosis experiencing little to no discomfort at all.
Pelvic pain is the top reported symptom of endometriosis. Here are seven other common signs and symptoms:
If endometriosis goes untreated, it can lead to other symptoms such as constipation, bloating, and nausea that can worsen during your period.
At Women’s Specialty Care, we diagnose endometriosis through a combination of a comprehensive pelvic exam and imaging scans that we receive via a laparoscopic procedure.
If you do receive an endometriosis diagnosis, you might be wondering what your treatment options are to give you some much needed relief.
At Women’s Specialty Care, we typically recommend starting out with some conservative treatments. These might include some over-the-counter pain medications, hormonal birth control, or progestin therapy. Minimally invasive surgery to remove growth of endometrial tissue without any damage to your reproductive organs could also be an option.
If your endometriosis is fairly advanced, you may need more aggressive surgery that includes the removal of your ovaries or your uterus (hysterectomy). However, these options are only needed if conservative options aren’t effective.
If you suspect that you have endometriosis, don’t wait to seek treatment. Our team can give you the compassionate and expert care that you need. To schedule an appointment with us, you can give us a call at one of our office locations, or use our online booking tool today.