Endometriosis is a chronic, often debilitating disease that affects millions of women worldwide. It occurs when tissue that usually lines the uterus inside grows outside of the uterus. This can cause pain, infertility, and other health problems. Women living with endometriosis often face a long journey to diagnosis, and many feel that they are not taken seriously by the medical community. There is no one-size-fits-all treatment for endometriosis, but several options are available. Some women choose to take medication to manage their symptoms, while others undergo surgery to remove the abnormal tissue. If you have symptoms of endometriosis, you should see a specialist in diagnosing and treating endometriosis in Boynton Beach for help.
Causes and Risk Factors
There is no one clear cause of endometriosis, but several risk factors may increase your chances of developing the disease. Understanding these risk factors can help you determine if you are at a higher risk of developing endometriosis. According to the World Endometriosis Society, any woman who menstruates can develop endometriosis, but women with risk factors are more likely to have the disease. Some of these risk factors include:
- A family history of endometriosis
- Having a shorter menstrual cycle, such as 21 days or less
- Early-onset of menstruation, before age 12
- Having a history of pelvic infections
- Using an intrauterine device (IUD) for contraception
The symptoms of endometriosis can vary from woman to woman. Some women experience severe pain and cramping, while others have mild symptoms. Common symptoms of endometriosis include:
- Painful menstrual cramps
- Pain during sex
- Chronic pelvic pain
- Painful bowel movements or urination
When to See a Specialist for Endometriosis
If you have any of the symptoms of endometriosis, make an appointment with your primary care physician. Be sure to tell them about all of your symptoms and how often they occur. Your doctor will want to know when your last menstrual period was, how long it lasted and whether you experienced any other symptoms such as pain during sex or pelvic pain. If your doctor suspects that you may have endometriosis, they may refer you to a specialist in diagnosing and treating the disease.
There is no one-size-fits-all treatment for endometriosis, but several options are available for women who want to manage their symptoms. Some women choose to take medication, while others undergo surgery. Suppose the endometrial tissue is located in an area where you can easily remove it. In that case, your doctor may recommend laparoscopic surgery or ablation surgery to remove the lesions and scarring that cause pain and infertility. If the endometrial tissue is more widespread, you may need to undergo a hysterectomy to remove the entire uterus.
Your doctor will work with you to develop a treatment plan that fits your needs and lifestyle. Be sure to discuss all of your options with your doctor to make an informed decision about what is best for you.
To summarize, endometriosis occurs when tissue that usually lines the uterus inside grows outside of the uterus. There is no one clear cause of endometriosis, but several risk factors may increase your chances of developing the disease. Some women experience severe pain and cramping, while others have mild symptoms. Treatment may involve medication or surgery.