Endometriosis is a condition where uterine tissue grows in areas outside of the uterus, resulting in an array of adverse symptoms, and affecting approximately 10% of women globally. It is important to know the signs and symptoms of this disease to be able to identify whether this affects you or a loved one.
The condition has four stages based on location and the amount of endometrial tissue that is present: minimal, mild, moderate, and severe.
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Painful, Heavy Periods
Most commonly, women with endometriosis experience severe cramps and pain about a week before and during menstruation, sometimes resulting in heavy flow as well. The pain is typically on a different level than general period cramps and pains, becoming debilitating and affecting day-to-day life.
The discomfort centers in the lower abdomen and can spread into the lower back and pelvis area as well. Many women use heating pads, warm baths, and herbal teas to combat the cramps and pain.
Painful Sex, Urination, and Bowel Movements
In severe cases, endometriosis can cause the back of the vaginal cavity to attach to the rectum, making bowel movements and vaginal penetrative sex extremely painful.
If the tissue overgrowth is centered in the pelvic area and near the bladder, it may be excruciating to maintain a full bladder or urinate.
Issues with Fertility
Endometriosis is one of the top causes of infertility in women, affecting over half of diagnosed women. Researchers believe that scar tissue inside the reproductive system prevents ovulation and can create an inhospitable environment for any egg that can be fertilized.
However, it is worth mentioning that it is still possible to get pregnant while diagnosed with endometriosis. It is also possible and relatively safe to have an abortion, depending on your level of severity and the location of your endometrial tissue overgrowth.
If you are considering an abortion while struggling with endometriosis, it is important to find an abortion clinic Dallas that has experience performing this procedure on a patient with this condition.
Over half of diagnosed women report experiencing extreme exhaustion directly before and during menstruation. It is believed that interrupted sleep patterns, inflammation, and your immune system working in overdrive are likely to blame. Some women experience dizziness, vertigo, and nausea as well.
Additionally, due to the dramatic loss of blood, many women with endometriosis have low iron levels which can lead to anemia—yet another culprit of fatigue. Getting treatment for anemia as well as seeing a sleep therapist can increase your energy levels.
Depending on the severity, endometriosis can be one of the most debilitating, painful, and humiliating conditions to have as a woman. It does not disappear on its own, and if left untreated, it can develop into a higher stage of severity and continue to worsen over time. Many women living with undiagnosed endometriosis are unaware that sexual intercourse is not supposed to be so painful, and they may live an unfulfilled or shame-filled life. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms above on any level, you must seek a physician for guidance.