Could Extremely Painful Cramps Be a Sign of Endometriosis?
Menstrual cramps can be aggravating and uncomfortable. And while they’re a very common part of your period, some women have cramps that are so painful they have a hard time doing everyday tasks. If you suffer from extremely painful cramps and can’t find relief from over the counter medicine, they may be a symptom of something other than your period. In fact, severe cramps can be a sign of endometriosis.
What is Endometriosis?
Endometriosis, also called “Endo,” is when the tissue that forms the lining of the uterus grows in places in the body other than the uterus. This tissue is most commonly found on the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and the outer surface of the uterus. Watch below as Dr. Skorberg talks about the different kinds of endometriosis.
How is Endometriosis Diagnosed?
Unfortunately, many women with endometriosis remain undiagnosed or diagnose themselves with other conditions. In fact, dysmenorrhea (severe cramps) is a very common misdiagnosis.
Endometriosis is diagnosed with laparoscopy. This is when your doctor makes a small cut in your stomach and insert a thin tube with a small light called a laparoscope to look for tissue growing outside the uterus. There are also other tests that a Gynecologist can perform, like an ultrasound or regular gynecological exam, but these can’t give definitive diagnoses.
What Are the Treatment Options for Endometriosis?
While there is no known cure for endometriosis, there are lots of therapies, including medication, hormones, surgery, or all three. Your treatment will depend on the extent of the disease, your symptoms, and whether you want to have children.
How Do I Know if Extremely Painful Cramps Are a Sign of Endometriosis?
For women with endometriosis, cramps can feel unbearable, preventing you from focusing on school, work, and other activities. You may even have stomach or back pain that persists outside of your period. If your cramps are debilitating or ongoing, you should speak with your doctor about the possibility of having endometriosis.
Other Symptoms of Endometriosis
While cramps can be a sign of endometriosis, there are other symptoms you might also experience. Some of these symptoms include:
- Pain with sex (dyspareunia)
- Discomfort while urinating or during bowel movements
- Abdominal bloating
- Heavy or irregular bleeding
However, each woman is different, and while one might have one or more of these symptoms, some women don’t have any.
How We Can Help
If your menstrual cramps are intense and you think they may be a symptom of endometriosis, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Our doctors are very experienced when it comes to diagnosing and treating endometriosis. In fact, Dr. Skorberg herself has had endometriosis, so she’s more in tune with the symptoms and, diagnosis, and treatment options. If you’d like to speak to one of our doctors about painful cramps, please contact us or fill out the form below to request an appointment.