Most girls get their period around age 12 in the United States. With the start of menstruation also comes some unpleasant symptoms, including painful menstrual cramps. But while such cramps can be normal, severe cramps may be a sign of something more—a condition known as endometriosis.
March is known as National Endometriosis Awareness Month. In recognition of this month, our team at AFC Urgent Care Centennial wants to share some insight into the condition and how it is treated.
What Exactly Is Endometriosis?
Endometriosis occurs when the tissue that usually forms the lining of your uterus also begins to spread beyond your uterine cavity. This may spread to other parts of the body, including the ovaries, bowel and other tissues surrounding your pelvis.
This overgrowth of tissue can lead to a wide range of uncomfortable and sometimes debilitating symptoms. If you’re experiencing particularly painful menstrual periods, talk with your doctor.
Signs of Endometriosis
- Painful periods
- Pain with intercourse
- Pain with bowel movements or urination
- Excessive bleeding
How Is Endometriosis Diagnosed?
If you start to experience the symptoms of endometriosis, then you want to seek the medical attention of a physician who can help you get diagnosed. Depending on your symptoms, your physician might start with a pelvic exam, which can be used to see if there are an abnormalities, such as cysts and scars, in and around your uterus/pelvic region.
In addition to a pelvic exam, an ultrasound and MRI might also be recommended in order to gain a better view of your reproductive organs. Once you’re diagnosed, your doctor may recommend a range of treatment options depending on the severity of your condition.
Endometriosis Treatment Options
- Take medications to lower estrogen.
- Exercise regularly.
- Avoid alcohol consumption.
- Cut down on caffeine intake.
- Eat right and be sure to add more fruits and vegetables into your diet.
Are you experiencing abdominal pain? Are your cramps worse than usual? Visit AFC Urgent Care Centennial today. No appointment is necessary!