Though they might feel alone in their diagnosis, a growing number of women suffer from a urogynecological condition called endometriosis, which occurs when the lining of the uterus actually grows outside of the uterus. It is a painful issue that can affect not only a woman’s quality of life, but one that can also cause infertility if left untreated. Fortunately, there are ways to prevent the development of this disorder as well as options for treatment; the important thing is to be well-informed and proactive so that steps can be taken to reduce the risk of developing endometriosis, and any signs of symptoms can be properly addressed.
Common symptoms include:
- Painful menstrual cramps
- Painful urination or bowel movements during menses
- Chronic pelvic pain
- Intestinal pain
- Painful intercourse
- Heavy bleeding or spotting between menstrual cycles
- An increased occurrence of digestive issues during menstrual cycles
Lining Up The Facts
Women with a history of irregular menstrual cycles, those who have never had children, and those with a family history of the disorder are at the greatest risk for developing endometriosis. Still, there are preventative measures that can be extremely effective in minimizing their risk factors; and because it is a condition stimulated by elevations in estrogen, controlling estrogen levels can ultimately control the processes which cause the uterine lining to thicken. Among the most simple of these steps is:
- Reducing the consumption of alcoholic beverages, which generally cause an increased level of estrogen.
- Getting regular exercise to reduce the accumulation of body fat, which will also lower the body’s estrogen levels.
- Changing to a low-level estrogen birth control.
- Consuming less caffeine, as caffeine elevates estrogen production.
Depending on the specific details of the diagnosis, including the cause and the severity of the condition, both surgical and non-surgical treatments are available. Some women may find great success with hormonal birth control, while others may only be respondent to surgeries to remove tissue growth. Once a diagnosis has been made, all options should be discussed with a urogynecologist or other licensed medical professional so that the very best solution can be found. Some women may wish to avoid surgery, and many women may hope for pregnancy in the future, all of which will factor greatly in determining a treatment plan.
Don’t let the pain be the end of your hope for a healthy, happy future! Give the team at Coyle Institute a call today!