Symptoms and diagnosis
Endometriosis causes a lot of pain, especially during the person’s menstrual cycle. Symptoms include:
- Painful intercourse
- Painful urination
- Intermenstrual bleeding
- Heavy bleeding
Only a doctor can diagnose endometriosis, and symptoms of the disease can mimic the symptoms of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) or cysts. To learn about endometriosis, read some of these common myths.
Myth #1: Periods are supposed to be painful
During a normal menstrual cycle, the endometrial tissue disintegrates and exits the body through the vagina. This process can cause some discomfort, better known as period cramps, but anything beyond dull pains could be the signal of a problem. Dysmenorrhea is the clinical term for painful periods, often associated with an underlying condition. Another symptom of endometriosis, heavy bleeding, is also not typical and should be examined by a doctor.
Myth #2: Endometriosis is only a problem for women nearing menopause.
The truth is that endometriosis can affect women at any age. Before the 1970s, doctors had to conduct invasive surgeries to determine if a woman had endometriosis. Now modern science has made detecting the condition more manageable. A study conducted in 2011 concluded that many women seek medical attention due to endometriosis-related symptoms before the age of 30.
Myth #3: Women with endometriosis can’t get pregnant
Although endometriosis affects pregnancy and can be a sign of infertility, the disease does not necessarily prevent pregnancy. Women with endometriosis can and still do get pregnant. The key is to work with a healthcare provider to accurately diagnose and manage the condition.
Myth #4: There is no cure for endometriosis
Many factors contribute to the development of endometriosis, but there are ways to manage the condition. Doctors often recommend hormone therapy to reduce the occurrence of symptoms. In some cases, treatment options may include surgery to remove excess tissue.
Myth #5: A hysterectomy cures endometriosis
A hysterectomy removes the uterus and the accompanying organs. However, this procedure does not necessarily cure or stop endometriosis. Women who are considering hysterectomies for painful periods should consult with a healthcare provider on an individual basis.
Find treatment options
Women who experience endometriosis may have some challenges with fertility. However, getting pregnant is not impossible. Schedule an appointment with a healthcare provider today to discuss options.