Many women experience chronic endometriosis pain for years before getting an official diagnosis. Even after your disorder has been confirmed, it can take even longer to find an effective treatment plan and the right doctor.
Our team of reproductive specialists at University Reproductive Associates, located in Hasbrouck Heights, Hoboken, and Wayne, New Jersey, specializes in women’s reproductive care, including diagnosing and treating endometriosis.
Endometrial tissue builds up in your uterus during the fertile days of your monthly cycle. If you become pregnant, this tissue remains in your body for the duration of your pregnancy. If you aren’t pregnant, the tissue flushes out during your period.
Sometimes endometrial tissue can grow outside of your uterus. That can cause cramping and pain as your body tries to reject it. Unfortunately, it thickens and bleeds every month as it has no way to exit the body. Over time, endometrial tissue can adhere to your ovaries or other organs in your pelvic region, such as your bladder, causing scarring and more pain.
Recognizing painful symptoms related to endometriosis
Endometriosis pain doesn’t always feel like period cramps. Sometimes, it can manifest as other types of pain, including:
- Pain before or after intercourse/orgasm
- Painful urination during your period
- Painful bowel movements
- Pain during ovulation
- Unexplained pain in or around your intestines
Infertility is tied to endometriosis because of the high incidence of scarring around the fallopian tubes, which can prevent eggs from reaching the womb for fertilization. Women who have endometriosis may also experience prolonged fatigue. In rare cases, endometrial tissue can reach the lungs or brain, causing life-threatening complications and symptoms like chest pain or severe headaches.
Coping with endometriosis pain
There is no cure for endometriosis, but there are treatments to manage the symptoms. For some women, over-the-counter pain medication can help. For others, chronic endometriosis pain requires hormone treatment in the form of birth control pills, shots, or patches to help limit the pain or stop your period altogether.
For women who want to have children someday, laparoscopy can eliminate some of the tissue and keep the organs and the pelvic wall from adhering to each other. For women who don’t plan on having any or more children, a hysterectomy can often resolve the issue.
If you have endometriosis or haven’t been diagnosed but have symptoms, a clear diagnosis and treatment plan can help reduce your pain. Contact our team at University Reproductive Associates by calling 201-288-6330, or visit our contact page for more information.