Skip to main content

What is Endometriosis? Symptoms, Causes, & Treatments

What is Endometriosis? Symptoms, Causes, & Treatments

Endometriosis is a common condition that affects one in ten women of reproductive age and causes endometrial tissue to form outside of the uterus. It can come with severe pain and bleeding, which disrupts many aspects of daily life.

If you are experiencing symptoms of endometriosis, the providers at Genesis OBGYN are here to help. We will work with you to manage your symptoms, so you can enjoy life with fewer interruptions.

Endometriosis Symptoms

Endometriosis has several symptoms, but the most common is chronic pelvic pain, particularly during or just before your period. You may also experience pain during intercourse or after bowel movements. This pain may worsen over time.

Other symptoms include:

  • Diarrhea or constipation during a period
  • Fatigue
  • Heavy or irregular periods
  • Spotting or bleeding between menstrual periods

Talk to your provider about endometriosis treatments if you experience any of these symptoms. These symptoms can have multiple causes, and your provider will do their best to get to the source of the problem.

Causes and Diagnosis of Endometriosis

The cause of endometriosis is currently unknown. While providers don’t know why endometriosis happens, we do know how to diagnose and treat it so you can experience relief.

Diagnosing Endometriosis

Diagnosis of endometriosis begins with reviewing your medical history and symptoms. Your provider may also ask if any of your family has been diagnosed with endometriosis.

Once a history is complete, your provider may conduct a pelvic exam and request imaging to help gather more information about what is going on inside your body. Imaging tests may include an ultrasound or an MRI, depending on what your provider wants to see. MRIs are commonly used to map endometriosis growths.

To confirm an endometriosis diagnosis, your provider may conduct a biopsy via laparoscopy. The biopsy will be sent to a lab to confirm that it is endometrial tissue from outside the uterus, confirming the diagnosis of endometriosis.

Endometriosis Treatments

You don’t have to go through endometriosis alone. Your provider can help you manage your symptoms and treat the condition through medications or surgery. Pain medication can help experience less discomfort on a day-to-day basis. You may be prescribed nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), ibuprofen (like Advil or Motrin), or naproxen sodium (Aleve).

Some hormone medications help reduce endometriosis symptoms and slow endometrial tissue growth outside your uterus. These medical solutions include:

  • Hormonal Contraception like birth control pills
  • Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (Gn-RH) agonists and antagonists
  • Progestin therapy
  • Aromatase inhibitors

Your provider will help you select the right option for you, considering your health history and lifestyle.

Surgery is another option. Some surgical options remove endometrial tissue and preserve the uterus and ovaries. If you are uninterested in becoming pregnant in the future, a hysterectomy can also help reduce endometriosis symptoms.

Discuss the Possibility of Endometriosis With Your Provider

If you’re experiencing symptoms of endometriosis, schedule an appointment to discuss a possible diagnosis with your Genesis OBGYN provider. We’re here to help you find an endometriosis treatment that’s personalized to you. Contact us today to request an appointment.