By Dr. Kimyra Milhouse
Are your period cramps just “bad” or is there something else going on? Those terrible period cramps could be because of endometriosis. Endometriosis is a condition in which the tissue that lines the inside of your uterus is present outside the uterus. This out of place tissue can cause a lot of discomfort and unfortunately can often make getting pregnant more difficult. Endometriosis is usually confined to the pelvis but has been found in unexpected places like the lungs. Even stranger, some men have endometriosis!
The cause of endometriosis is not completely understood, but some women are at greater risk than others. Starting your period at an early age, having fewer days between periods, and/or having long heavy periods can increase your risk of endometriosis. On the contrary, exercising regularly has been associated with reducing risk of developing endometriosis so hitting the gym may be in your favor.
While a lot of women do not have endometriosis symptoms, others will experience symptoms that are worse during their periods. These include: severe period cramps, chronic pelvic pain, and pain with sexual intercourse. Some women also have pain with bowel movements or urinating during their periods if their endometriosis affects those areas. Many women with endometriosis also have heavy periods. If this is you, we see you and listened – our Heavy Flow pads can be used on your lightest and heaviest days.
Sadly, there is currently no cure for endometriosis. Luckily, there are treatments to help with symptoms and infertility. Treatment ranges from medications to surgery depending on your symptoms and your desire to get pregnant in the future. If you have endometriosis or are concerned that you may, be sure to check in with your OB/Gyn for more information about your options.