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Painful Periods: Could it be endometriosis?

As women, we often disregard symptoms like bloating, cramps, or painful periods. However, did you know that these could be signs of endometriosis? This condition occurs when the glands from inside the lining of the uterus grow on the surfaces or muscular parts of pelvic organs, causing pain, bloating, cramps, abnormal bleeding, infertility, painful intercourse, and painful ovulation.

Sometimes, these glands can even implant on the surfaces of the diaphragm, inside the chest cavity by the lungs, or other sites away from the pelvis.

It can take an average of seven to nine years to receive a definitive diagnosis of this painful condition with multiple non-specific symptoms, which affects approximately 11% of women. However, with more research and treatment options available, the diagnosis rates for endometriosis are increasing.

This condition can cause infertility or subfertility, with some women only discovering it after an ectopic pregnancy, recurrent pregnancy loss, or difficulty conceiving due to the chronic inflammation caused by the endometriosis tissue.

The most common treatment for endometriosis and its symptoms involves stopping hormonal cycles, either with birth control or hormone agonists (stimulators) or antagonists (blockers). Sometimes, a combination approach is used to treat the symptoms, with anti-inflammatory medication, complementary therapies like acupuncture or physical therapy, or surgical options all at the forefront of our endometriosis arsenal!

Are you ready to start talking about endometriosis? Contact your Metro doctor to discuss, or schedule an appointment online.

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