Understanding Endometriosis: What You Need to Know

Endometriosis is a common yet often misunderstood health condition that affects many women. It’s essential to understand the basics of endometriosis to recognize the signs, seek help early, and manage it effectively.

What is Endometriosis?

“Endometriosis happens when tissue similar to the lining of the uterus grows outside of it. This tissue can be found on other organs within the pelvis, like the ovaries or fallopian tubes. During a woman’s period this tissue responds to hormonal changes leading to inflammation and scarring,” says Riverside Healthcare Primary Care Provider Dena Reddick, NP, PhD.

Recognizing Symptoms:

Symptoms of endometriosis can vary, but some common ones include:

  1. Pelvic or lower back pain, especially during periods.
  2. Heavy periods or bleeding between periods.

    Dena Reddick, NP, PhD
  3. Pain during or after sex.
  4. Trouble getting pregnant.

If you have any of these symptoms, it’s important to talk to a doctor.

Getting Diagnosed and Treated:

Diagnosing endometriosis can be tricky because its symptoms can overlap with other conditions. A thorough medical history, pelvic exam, imaging tests, and sometimes laparoscopic surgery are necessary for an accurate diagnosis.

There’s no cure for endometriosis, but there are treatments to help manage the symptoms. These can include:

  1. Pain medicines to help with discomfort.
  2. Hormone therapy to control hormones and reduce symptoms.
  3. Surgery to remove the extra tissue.

It’s important to work with your provider to find the best treatment for you.

Expert Advice:

“If you think you might have endometriosis, don’t hesitate to talk to your primary care provider or gynecologist. Early diagnosis and treatment can make a big difference in managing the condition,” Reddick states.

Endometriosis affects millions of women, but many people don’t know much about it. That’s why it’s important to raise awareness and support those who have it.

Understanding the basics of endometriosis is essential for promoting early diagnosis, personalized treatment, and ongoing support. If you think you might have endometriosis, don’t wait to talk to your provider. With the right care and support, you can manage the condition and feel better.