For most women, your period is an inconvenience, but doesn’t cause you severe pain or make you miss activities. But if you’re suffering from endometriosis, your period may be more of a pain than you’ve bargained for.
Dr. John Paul Roberts is our experienced OB/GYN who can help you navigate the ins and outs of endometriosis. If that’s your diagnosis, Dr. Roberts can provide treatment options to help you deal with this condition.
Endometriosis: What is it?
Endometriosis is a condition that causes tissue that’s similar to the lining of your uterus to grow outside of the uterine walls. It’s usually a painful condition, and the tissue normally grows on the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and other places in your pelvic cavity.
Because this tissue is unable to escape your body during your period, it can result in scar tissue or adhesions in your pelvic region. This causes pain, and possibly other complications.
You're probably wondering what causes this painful condition. The truth is, medical experts don’t know what causes it. They’re studying some possible contributing factors, a few of which include:
- Immune system issues
- Retrograde menstruation
- Previous pelvic surgery
If you suspect you might be dealing with endometriosis, Dr. Roberts performs a comprehensive exam to determine a diagnosis. This may include a pelvic exam, ultrasound, or MRI, if needed.
Symptoms that can clue you in
Just because you have some pain during your period doesn’t necessarily mean you have endometriosis. However, there are other symptoms that may accompany the pain that can clue you in that something else is going on.
These symptoms include:
- Pain during sex
- Excessive bleeding
- Pain with bowel movements
Endometriosis can also have other effects on your body, such as infertility. If you’re having trouble conceiving a child, and have some or all of the above symptoms, endometriosis could possibly be the culprit.
Like many other medical problems, endometriosis is more likely to happen if you have certain risk factors.
Some of the risk factors that play a part in endometriosis are:
- Younger age at first period
- Never having kids
- Late menopause
- Heavy bleeding
- High levels of estrogen
Along with heavy bleeding for more than a week, short menstrual cycles can also play a role in your risk of developing endometriosis. Because there can be many other disorders with the same symptoms and risk factors, it’s important to get a professional diagnosis from Dr. Roberts so you can get the proper treatment.
Treatment options for endometriosis
As difficult as a diagnosis of endometriosis might be, you do have several treatment options available to help ease your symptoms. The type of treatment Dr. Roberts recommends for you is dependent on how severe your symptoms are and if you're planning to get pregnant.
Most of your treatment options are conservative in nature, but surgery is available if other methods fail to relieve your symptoms.
Some of the options that Dr. Roberts may offer you to control your endometriosis include:
- Pain medications
- Hormone therapy
- Gonadotropin-releasing hormone analogues
- Androgen receptor agonists
- Aromatase inhibitors
Dr. Roberts starts with pain medications and hormone therapy, and if those don’t control your symptoms, he’ll move to other treatments. In severe cases, Dr. Roberts may recommend surgery if you're not getting relief any other way.
If you think endometriosis is the culprit behind your menstrual pain and heavy bleeding, call our office in Plano, Texas, at 972-591-8826 to make an appointment. You can also request an appointment online using our booking tool.