Endometriosis is a fairly common disorder that can range from mild to severe. In some cases, it can even affect your fertility or can cause problems with your bladder, intestines, and other organs.
At Fertility & Gynecology Center - Monterey Bay IVF, board-certified OB/GYN Edward J. Ramirez, MD, has helped many women with endometriosis live more comfortable lives and has recommended appropriate treatments to allow for conception.
Each month during your menstrual cycle, your uterus sheds its inner lining, which is called the endometrium. In women who have endometriosis, the endometrium grows in places outside of the uterus.
It may grow on the outside of the uterus, on the fallopian tubes, or on other organs. When it’s time for the endometrium to shed, there’s no way for it to leave the body.
It’s important for you to be evaluated and properly diagnosed if you suspect you have this disorder, but if you’re experiencing the symptoms in this post, there’s a possibility you have endometriosis. Here are the common symptoms:
Most women experience some level of discomfort during their period. It may simply be a feeling of heaviness in the abdomen, or it could be cramping from your uterus contracting as it sheds the endometrium.
If you have endometriosis, you may have severe cramping, and you may feel those cramps in your lower back as well as your abdomen. Usually, menstrual cramping only lasts the first day or two of your period, but for women with endometriosis, the cramps often extend for several days.
Sex isn’t supposed to hurt, but for many women with endometriosis, it does. Intercourse itself can be painful, and you may feel pain after sex. Women describe this particular pain as feeling deep, and that it’s unlike the pain you may feel during penetration at the beginning of sex.
You may have heavy bleeding during your period. It may not be during every period, though. If you have occasional heavy bleeding along with other symptoms, it could be due to endometriosis.
Bleeding between periods, which is called intermenstrual bleeding, can also happen if you have endometriosis.
Depending on where the endometrium is growing, endometriosis can cause bladder and bowel problems. Pain that is associated with urination or bowel movements because of endometriosis is usually worse closer to your period.
If you’ve tried to get pregnant and been unable to conceive, it could be due to endometriosis. In fact, some women aren’t diagnosed until they seek help in getting pregnant.
Endometriosis can affect fertility in several ways. It can cause scarring that makes it difficult for your eggs to travel through your fallopian tubes. It can affect the quality of your eggs, and sometimes endometriosis causes a toxicity that makes it difficult for an egg to implant.
There are various stages of endometriosis, and the symptoms you experience don’t always correlate with the severity of your condition. You may have extreme symptoms, but mild endometriosis. Or you may have no symptoms, but severe endometriosis.
There are various treatment approaches for endometriosis, and the one that’s most appropriate for you depends on numerous factors.
If you want to become pregnant, there are often treatments that can help. There are also medications and surgeries that can be used to treat endometriosis.
Dr. Ramirez takes your circumstances and goals into consideration before suggesting treatment options.
If you’d like to learn more about endometriosis and what your choices may be, book an appointment with us today. You can request an appointment online, or call us at 831-205-2593 and we’ll be glad to get you scheduled.