Having pain during monthly menstrual cycles is nothing new or unusual for women. However, having significant pain which makes daily activities impossible is something entirely different. If you are having more pain than usual, it might be time to find out what is going on. Could my painful periods be endometriosis?
What is Endometriosis
Each month the lining of your uterus, known as the endometrium, builds up and then sheds during your period. If you have endometriosis, that lining grows abnormally outside your uterus and attaches to other parts of your body. It can grow near the ovaries and under the uterus. Small amounts of bleeding occurs inside the pelvis instead of from the uterus.
The result is pain and inflammation plus scarring and swelling. This occurs every month and will only get worse as you get older.
Know the Symptoms of Endometriosis
You can’t see inside your reproductive system, so the only way to know if the endometrium is growing in abnormal places is through the symptoms you experience every month. Some symptoms are never normal.
Pelvic pain is the main symptom of endometriosis. This exists even without a period.
The most common symptoms include the following:
- Intense pain that affects your daily life
- Painful intercourse
- Ovarian cysts which become large and need to be removed
- Infertility due to scar tissue and inflammation of the fallopian tubes. It can also affect the quantity and quality of eggs produced.
- Severe migraines and lower back pain
- Pain when urinating or moving your bowels
- Bleeding between periods
- Blood in urine or from the rectum
If you have endometriosis you may also find you need to change pads or tampons every hour, or wear more than one pad. Passing blood clots larger than a quarter is another indication. Your pain can begin one week before your period and last throughout.
In addition, there can be bloating, nausea, fatigue, and allergies that worsen during your period.
When over-the-counter medications do not relieve your pain, it is time to see Virginia Women’s Health in Reston & Annandale, VA for a diagnosis and treatment.
You don’t have to live your life with chronic pelvic pain and excessive bleeding.
Contact Virginia Women’s Health at (703) 435-2555 for an evaluation to discover if your painful periods could be endometriosis.