One in ten women affected by endometriosis during their reproductive years

It’s important to talk to your provider about symptoms, especially any pain you experience.
It’s important to talk to your provider about symptoms, especially any pain you experience.

Amy Metzer, CNM, MSN

Despite the fact that endometriosis is a relatively common condition affecting an estimated 176 million women worldwide, there is a surprising lack of awareness about its symptoms, impact and management.

Endometriosis occurs when tissue that is similar to the lining of the uterus develops outside the uterus. However, while the tissue that builds up within the uterus is shed from the body during menstruation, there is no place for the tissue outside the uterus to go, which may result in inflammation, pain, scar tissue and adhesions on other organs, infertility and bowel problems.

Because some pain or discomfort during menstruation is relatively common, many women may chalk up what they feel as “normal” period pain, when in fact it is a sign of endometriosis. That’s why it’s important to talk to your provider about symptoms, especially any pain you experience.

In addition to pain during menstruation, symptoms of endometriosis may also include:

  • heavy bleeding
  • pain during ovulation
  • pain during or after sex
  • chronic pelvic pain
  • pain during urination or bowel movements during menstruation
  • difficulty getting pregnant

Endometriosis impacts a woman’s physical health, as well as her mental and social well-being. We can help you manage your symptoms.

Treatment options may include medications to manage symptoms, or surgery to remove scar tissue and adhesions. Pregnancy may relieve symptoms of endometriosis, but they typically return after childbirth.

We work closely with all of our patients who have endometriosis to develop a care plan based on their unique situations and goals. For example, the treatment for a woman who wants to have children versus one who does not or who is finished having children can be quite different. The severity of symptoms can also vary tremendously, and may change over time, so regular exams and discussions help to ensure you benefit from the most effective treatment.

If you have symptoms of endometriosis or need help managing this condition, call us for an appointment.