Endometriosis doesn’t always cause symptoms, but if you have pelvic pain, there’s a chance you have endometriosis. It’s found in 85% of women with pelvic pain. The doctors at Capital Women’s Care want women to know that endometriosis is also a common cause of infertility, so please don’t wait to get a pelvic exam if you experience symptoms. Schedule an exam by booking an appointment online or calling one of their offices in Rockville and Silver Spring, Maryland.
Endometriosis develops when the endometrium – the tissue lining the inside of your uterus – grows outside the uterus. The abnormal growth most often occurs in fallopian tubes, ovaries, and the outer wall of your uterus, but it can develop anywhere in your pelvic region.
Every month, the endometrium inside your uterus prepares to nurture a fertilized egg. If you don’t become pregnant, the lining is shed, which causes menstrual bleeding.
Endometrial tissue outside the uterus goes through the same monthly cycle. When endometriosis breaks down and bleeds, it affects your pelvis, causing inflammation and scarring.
You may not experience symptoms, but if you do, chances are you’ll have pain: painful menstrual periods, pain in the pelvic region, and/or pain in your lower back. You may have pain during intercourse, while others find that urinating or having a bowel movement is painful.
Beyond pain, you may have other symptoms such as bleeding or spotting between menstrual periods. You may also develop bloating, diarrhea, or constipation.
Endometriosis is one of the top three causes of infertility, and about 30-50% of women with endometriosis are infertile. The infertility is caused when inflammation from endometriosis affects your eggs, fallopian tubes, or uterus.
You should call Capital Women’s Care when you have pelvic pain that persists, worsens, or is severe enough to affect daily life. You may notice this difference between menstrual pain and endometrial pain:
The pain is worse on the first day and gets progressively better.
The pain gets worse throughout your period and often continues after your period ends.
Your doctor performs diagnostic tests such as ultrasound to verify you have endometriosis, then develops a treatment plan that meets your individual needs. You may receive medications that prevent the growth of new patches of endometriosis or reduce the size of existing patches. Other medications relieve symptoms by reducing menstrual bleeding.
While medication can relieve your symptoms and may prevent your endometriosis from getting worse, minimally invasive surgery is the only way to remove endometriosis. Surgical treatment can improve your chance of becoming pregnant.
Call Capital Women’s Care or book an appointment online for an exam to determine the cause of your menstrual or pelvic pain.