Are you struggling with painful, heavy periods and wondering if endometriosis might be the cause? If so, you’re not alone. At least 1 in 10 women have this painful, often life-altering condition that causes the endometrium, the lining of your uterus, to grow outside of its usual location.
At Darin Swainston, MD. FACOG in Las Vegas, Nevada, gynecological surgeon Dr. Darin Swainston and OB/GYN Dr. Daniel Richards offer the latest in treatment services for patients suffering from endometriosis. To help you learn the key signs that indicate you might have this troublesome condition, we’ve curated this informative guide.
What is endometriosis?
Endometriosis is a painful disorder that causes the endometrial tissue that normally lines the uterus to grow outside of your uterus. As you get your menstrual cycle each month, this misplaced tissue continues to thicken and break down each month as it normally would if it were in your uterus.
Without the ability to shed and leave your body as it would if it were in your uterus, the misplaced endometrial tissue causes inflammation and irritation of the surrounding tissue. Over time, it can cause scar tissue (adhesions) to form. In some women, endometriosis can cause infertility.
What are the key signs I might have endometriosis?
Symptoms of endometriosis can vary depending on where the tissue grows in your body. However, there are several key signs to watch for that may indicate endometriosis is the root cause of your symptoms. Here’s a closer look:
1. Problem periods
The most common symptom of endometriosis is troublesome periods. If you have periods with debilitating cramps and heavy periods with many clots that are getting worse instead of better over time, it could be a sign of endometriosis.
2. Pain in the pelvis, abdomen, or back
As the tissue growing outside your uterus thickens and tries to shed, the result can be debilitating pain. The pain presents in different locations depending on where the tissue and adhesions form. The most common are the pelvic area, abdomen, and back.
3. Pain with intercourse
Many women with endometriosis find sex painful. If you experience deep pain during or after sex or pain after sex that lasts as long as 24 hours after intercourse, it could be endometriosis. If you’re experiencing painful sex along with other symptoms of endometriosis, a visit with Dr. Swainston or Dr. Richards is an important part of your diagnosis.
4. Intestinal distress
Constipation, difficult or painful bowel movements, diarrhea, and other intestinal distress are frequently a sign of endometriosis as the tissue can grow on and around the intestinal tract. Many women who have been diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome actually have endometriosis because the two conditions have many symptoms in common.
If you’ve been trying to get pregnant and are struggling to conceive, endometriosis could be the culprit. For many women, struggles with infertility is the first sign of the condition. Dr. Swainston and Dr. Richards offer solutions for endometriosis that can help you preserve your fertility and begin your family.
Are there treatment options for endometriosis?
The first step in treating endometriosis is determining if it’s the cause of your symptoms. To help determine if you have endometriosis, Dr. Swainston or Dr. Richards meet with you to discuss your symptoms, review your medical history, and obtain any necessary lab work or imaging.
If your provider determines endometriosis is the likely cause of your symptoms, he reviews your treatment options with you to come up with a customized plan for your unique needs. Our cutting-edge robotic-assisted surgeries help treat and manage endometriosis.
If you want to learn more about endometriosis and if it’s the cause of your symptoms, contact our Las Vegas office today!