The Endometriosis Symptoms Checklist
Endometriosis is a very common female reproductive condition, but few women who have endometriosis are actually aware of it. The condition can be difficult to diagnose because physicians tend to either downplay it or associate its symptoms with other issues. Patients can be put in the position of having to strongly advocate for themselves, insisting on screening and treatment for the pain associated with the condition.
At PWOG, our physicians are experienced in diagnosing and treating endometriosis. We strongly encourage you to read below to learn about symptoms and to request an appointment if you have any concerns.
What is endometriosis?
Endometriosis occurs when tissue that would normally grow within the uterus grows outside it.
What are symptoms of endometriosis?
- Generalized pain in the following areas: lower abdomen, pelvis, lower back, vagina or rectum
- Pain during intercourse or during a bowel movement
- Severe pain during menstruation that can include heavy menstrual bleeding and cycles that are either longer or shorter than a typical 28-day cycle
- Abdominal cramping
How is endometriosis diagnosed?
Your PWOG provider will likely perform a pelvic exam as a first assessment in order to determine whether any abnormalities are present. The types of abnormalities your physician will look for can include cysts or tissue scarring. An ultrasound is also used in the diagnosis of endometriosis so your physician can obtain a clear view of your reproductive organs. Sometimes a transvaginal ultrasound is used.
In cases where a clear diagnosis is not yet made or treatments to manage symptoms have proven unsuccessful, a laparoscopy may be used. A laparoscopy is a surgical procedure that allows a surgeon to view the uterus directly and perhaps even take a tissue sample for biopsy.
How is endometriosis treated?
Treatment for endometriosis typically begins with management of symptoms, including pain relief, often resulting in prescribed medication. Hormonal medication such as the birth control pill may be offered as well to manage symptoms and regulate your menstrual cycle. There are surgical procedures available, but a confirmed diagnosis is required before your physician will discuss such options. Treatment will also depend on your individual lifestyle, pain level and family planning goals.
If you’d like to discuss symptoms, please request an appointment at PWOG today.Back to blog