Many women experience cramping during their periods. At Comprehensive Women’s Health in Oxford and Birmingham, Michigan, Dr. Lana Powell and Dr. Soyoun Lee understand painful cramping could be a symptom of something more serious called endometriosis. For more information about your painful cramping, schedule your appointment with either office or book your appointment online.
The endometrium is the lining of the uterus. In some cases, the tissue lining your uterus will grow in unexpected areas of your reproductive system, such as on your Fallopian tubes and ovaries. The excessive tissue is often painful and can cause other problems like cysts and scar tissue in or around your uterus. Dr. Powell and Dr. Lee recommend treatment as soon as possible if you’re diagnosed with endometriosis.
The most common symptom of endometriosis is pelvic pain, especially during your period or intercourse. You may also experience pain while urinating, diarrhea, and constipation. Some women experience a heavy and painful menstrual flow known as dysmenorrhea.
Severity or intensity of your pain isn’t a reliable predictor of how advanced your endometriosis is. Dr. Lee and Powell determine which stage you have based on a physical exam and routine questions.
The main complication of endometriosis is infertility. Endometriosis obstructs the natural fertilization process during ovulation or may cause damage to the egg. Because endometriosis worsens over time, women diagnosed with it should not delay in becoming pregnant.
Another complication of endometriosis is an increased risk of ovarian cancer. While the overall risk of ovarian cancer is low, women suffering from endometriosis have a higher rate of developing ovarian cancer than women without endometriosis.
Endometriosis treatments usually involve medication and/or surgery. Surgery is used as a secondary treatment and only when medically necessary. Dr. Lee and Dr. Powell suggest over-the-counter pain relievers for painful cramping. Hormone therapy such as oral birth control and hormone inhibitors ease pain and heavy bleeding during your period.
In some cases, Dr. Lee and Dr. Powell recommend surgery to remove the excess endometrial tissue but preserving the ovaries and uterus. Very rarely, a hysterectomy may be the best treatment option, but it’s a last resort. Hysterectomies often bring early onset menopause, creating new complications or symptoms such as heart and blood vessel disorders.
At Comprehensive Women’s Health in Michigan, Drs. Powell and Lee provide experienced and compassionate advice and care for endometriosis. Call to your schedule your appointment, or book online today.