Endometriosis pain can be experienced from the first period itself. This increasingly common condition can make each monthly cycle a trying time for the woman.
What is endometriosis?
Endometriosis is a condition that affects many women globally. It is characterized by growth of the tissue that lines the inside of the uterus in areas outside the uterus. The tissue may grow on the outer layer of the uterus, ovaries, fallopian tubes, rectum, or in the abdomen. Some women may even have an extra endometrial layer in areas outside the abdomen. Endometriosis can lead to tremendous pain and heavy bleeding during the monthly cycles.
What are the causes of endometriosis and how does it cause problems?
Doctors have not yet found out the exact cause of endometriosis, but they know that it worsens with every release of estrogen. Estrogen is a female hormone that is usually high during the childbearing years, and so women with endometriosis often show symptoms during this period. During menopause, estrogen levels fall causing these symptoms to disappear.
The endometrium is a tissue lining the inner walls of the uterus which under the influence of hormones, thickens to prepare for the egg to be implanted in case of a pregnancy. If it gets implanted, you get pregnant and the egg continues to grow, but if you do not get pregnant, the endometrium breaks down and the body sheds it along with blood, which results in your monthly periods.
During endometriosis, the tissues growing outside the uterus also act similar to the one lining the uterus, get thick and shed off. But as the tissue is outside the uterus, it has no outlet to flow. This leads to irritation and formation of scar tissue or an endometrial cyst. Such scar tissues can make it difficult for you to get pregnant.
What are the symptoms of endometriosis?
Some of the most common symptoms of endometriosis are:
- Infertility or trouble getting pregnant.
- Severe pain: The pain depends on where the extra endometrial tissue is growing. You may experience pain in lower back, vagina, rectum. Your pain can be worse only during periods, or during sex, bowel movements, or even during ovulation.
- Heavy bleeding: You may have spotting, bleeding during periods, after sex or during urine or stool.
Talk to your doctor about your symptoms and you may need to do an ultrasound to identify endometriosis.
Disclaimer: The information in the article is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your doctor.
Also read: Is Endometriosis Painful?