Endometriosis: A Silent Disease

While many women experience menstrual cramps, there are others who experience more extreme symptoms as a result of endometriosis—a condition that impacts more than 10 percent of women between the ages of 15 and 44.

What Is Endometriosis?

Endometriosis is a painful condition that causes tissue to grow outside of the uterus, can go undiagnosed or misdiagnosed for years. This tissue—unlike tissue that exits the body during the menstrual cycle—has nowhere to go and can cause alarming symptoms for women, including:

  • Pain, such as severe menstrual cramps, chronic pain in the lower back or pelvis, or pain during or after sex
  • Bleeding or spotting between menstrual periods
  • Chronic fatigue

In addition, some women are unaware of their endometriosis until they have difficulty conceiving. Thirty to 40 percent of women with endometriosis are unable to get pregnant, according to the Endometriosis Foundation of America.

How Is Endometriosis Diagnosed and Treated?

A laparoscopic procedure is the only way to receive an accurate diagnosis. During the procedure, a surgeon makes a small incision near the naval to view the inside of the abdomen. After diagnosis, your provider may recommend treatment options to manage symptoms, such as over-the-counter pain medication or hormonal therapy. If your symptoms are severe or you have problems with infertility, surgery to remove the endometrial tissue is also an option.

Are you experiencing pain you think may be related to endometriosis? Find an OB/GYN at Carson Tahoe Health.