It can be hard trying to explain to your friends and family that your period pain is too intense to make plans, or that you can’t predict one month to the next how much pain you will be in. Endometriosis pain can create strained relationships, as seeing partners, family and friends less frequently or having to change plans at the last minute can take its toll. This condition can leave you feeling vulnerable, and unfortunately, there are still many doctors who aren’t well trained in diagnosing endometriosis. The more you can understand about the condition, the symptoms, and your treatment options, the better armed you will be to make the best decisions for your care and get back to living a normal life.
Why some women get endometriosis and others do not is a mystery. It is thought to be genetic, but the why hasn’t been determined.
The same cells that are in your uterine lining grow outside of the womb. The uterine lining swells and sheds each month, causing menstrual bleeding. When endometriosis occurs, these cells behave as though they were still inside the uterus. But now, without a direct pathway to leave the body, the tissue is trapped. It swells, and sheds and remains, causing inflammation.
Endometriosis usually affects the tissue lining the pelvic cavity, the ovaries or the bowel, and rarely, can be found outside of the pelvic region. It causes severe pelvic pain in some women, while others may not be as affected. It is one of the leading causes of infertility, and can cause pelvic adhesions which can also contribute to pain.
Women with endometriosis have been shown to experience fatigue, diarrhea, constipation, bloating or nausea, especially during menstrual periods. Difficulty going to the bathroom and pain during sex are also symptoms.
The symptoms of endometriosis are sometimes misinterpreted as being the result of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), ovarian cysts, or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), a condition that causes bouts of diarrhea, constipation and abdominal cramping. IBS can accompany endometriosis, which can complicate the diagnosis. It is also possible to have fibroids and endometriosis, ovarian cysts and endometriosis or other combinations.
Find An Minimally Invasive GYN Surgical Specialist
When complex conditions like endometriosis go undiagnosed or aren’t fully diagnosed with accompanying conditions, the effects can often be overwhelming to the patient. If you have pelvic pain or heavy menstrual bleeding, finding a minimally invasive GYN surgical specialist as soon as possible is important. If diagnosed early, procedures are usually easier on the patient.
A fellowship trained GYN specialist will be able to not only diagnose and treat endometriosis, but they will be able to detect additional problems like pelvic adhesions or fibroids.
While medical therapy can be helpful to alleviating the symptoms, they are not always long lasting. Conservative or definitive surgical management of endometriosis has shown to have the most positive benefits for women. Advanced minimally invasive procedures like resection or excision of endometriosis removes the lesions or the endometriomas that form on ovaries. This surgery leaves the uterus intact. It is generally used for less severe cases. If a patient is done having children, and is comfortable having a hysterectomy, this is the most effective treatment.
There is no cure for endometriosis. If additional lesions are left behind, they can continue to spread, and cause pain. That is why is is essential to find a specialist who will remove every occurrance of endometriosis.,
Coping With The Emotional Side of Endometriosis Pain
Finding support after you have been diagnosed is an important part of getting through treatment. There are numerous online groups that offer emotional, as well as medical reference support. Facebook is home to Nancy’s Nook, a private online group that gives its members support and also provides a vetted list of endometriosis specialists for women around the world to have at their fingertips, Endo Warriors, a page that promotes updates about endometriosis awareness and tools to help women find more information and several other endometriosis information and support groups. These are interactive and the members provide a lot of support for each other. Other online groups for infertility also talk in-depth about the impact endometriosis has had on getting pregnant and carrying a child to term.
You don’t have to go through endometriosis alone. With the right specialist and the right support, finding a solution to the pain, bleeding, fatigue and disruption is possible.
BOOK A CONSULTATION
GYN surgical specialists can often see women sooner because they are focused entirely on surgery. Each endometriosis patient gets detailed, in depth attention from Dr. Natalya Danilyants and Dr. Paul MacKoul. This personalized care helps patients understand their condition and the recommended treatment so that they can have confidence from the very start. Our surgeons have performed over 20,000 GYN procedures and are constantly finding better ways to improve outcomes for patients.
CIGC TRAVEL PROGRAM
Even if you are not from the DC area, many patients travel to The Center for Innovative GYN Care for our groundbreaking procedures. We treat women from around the world who suffer from complex GYN conditions.
Learn more in our travel program.