Women's Health

Endometriosis: When Should I See a Doctor?

Endometriosis: When Should I See a Doctor?

Key Takeaways

  • Pelvic pain
  • Painful urination
  • Painful sexual intercourse
  • Unexplained pains in the bowel

Endometriosis is a serious disease in which a woman tends to have an abnormal growth of the endometrial tissues outside the uterus. If you have any symptoms, you should see a doctor immediately. If you have pain during your period that is different than the previous cases, you can wait until the next period to see if the pain is repeatable. Also, if your periods have changed from being pain-free to painful, this can be due to the growth of endometrial tissues outside the uterus.

Endometriosis

Schedule an appointment with your gynecologist if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Pain in the abdomen that limits you during your everyday activities
  • Pelvic pain
  • Painful urination
  • Painful sexual intercourse
  • Unexplained pains in the bowel
  • Infertility problems that last longer than 12 months

Women are, most of the time, not able to distinguish between the symptoms of the endometriosis and menstrual cramping. This is the reason why the condition goes undiagnosed in its early stages, thereby creating other complications, including ovarian cancer, infertility, etc. Also, the symptoms of endometriosis can clash with the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, due to which many women tend to not visit a doctor. However, a woman should be aware that diarrhea, irritable bowel movement, vomiting, and unbearable and severe abdominal pain are symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. If all these symptoms occur during the menstruation, then it can point toward endometriosis. It is vital at this point to have a checkup with the doctor.

Discuss the changes of your period with the gynecologist or with your family doctor. They will give you the right advice and instructions for the treatment. Maybe you will need to see an internist for future analysis and screenings. If infertility is your main problem caused by endometriosis, the internist will suggest you to do hormone tests with an endocrinologist. You can control this disease by taking the prescribed medications and therapies, but there is no particular drug that will cure the condition.

If you are not planning to get pregnant, your gynecologist will prescribe birth control pills. Sometimes the condition needs to be treated with laparoscopic surgery, which is how the endometrial tissues are removed from the body. There are many gynecologists that specialize in endometriosis cases. Before you visit this type of specialist, you should:

  • Collect as much information about your medical history as possible
  • Ask your closest female relatives if anyone has had any similar symptoms
  • Write down all the symptoms of endometriosis you have
  • Be very specific about the pain and its location
  • Be prepared that you may need a second opinion

Do not delay the appointment if you have some visible changes on your genitals, because the endometrial tissue also can affect them. A woman is advised to find a good endometriosis specialist for getting the best and most appropriate treatment of their condition; thus, it is important to do good research and collect all the information about the best doctors available for the treatment of this condition. One can also get help from the family doctors, who can provide a better reference, if necessary.

It is very important that the patient describes all the symptoms in detail to the doctor so that the doctor can provide appropriate help. For this, a woman can write down all her symptoms before visiting a doctor to make sure that nothing is left out. The doctor can use a pelvic examination, ultrasound, and laparoscopy for the examination of this condition. A cyst can be detected by a pelvic examination, in which the pelvic area is manually palpated by the doctor. However,  a doctor would usually use a transvaginal ultrasound and laparoscopy so that he/she can verify the condition. Laparoscopy is used for detailed examination of endometrial implants, including their location, size, and extent. It can also be used to aid a doctor in the removal of the cysts, should surgery be deemed the best option.

You will hear many opinions and experiences from the women who are diagnosed with endometriosis. Also, you will read a lot about this condition on the Internet. These are the most confusing things about endometriosis that are 100% myths. Your doctor should know that:

  • Pregnancy can ease the symptoms but will never cure the disease
  • Women of every age can be diagnosed with endometriosis
  • Surgery is not the only treatment for this condition
  • Endometriosis can’t be diagnosed only by the symptoms
  • The symptoms of endometriosis are similar to the symptoms of many other health problems
  • Having endometriosis doesn’t mean that you are infertile
  • Endometriosis affects nearly 10% of the female population of reproductive age
  • Genes play a big role in causing endometriosis
  • Endometriosis can lower the immune response of the body, but it is not an autoimmune condition
  • There is no specific treatment for this disease, and every diagnosed woman takes different types or doses of the therapy
  • Many women with endometriosis can have children in the future, but they should always consult with their gynecologist before making a decision
  • Higher levels of estrogen can be the main reason for growing of the tissues. This is the reason why your gynecologist may prescribe you hormones that will lower the estrogen level in your body
  • Ask for painkillers if you have everyday pains
  • Exercise can often cause the pain to become worse if you are spending a lot of time sitting or lying down

One opinion of one doctor doesn’t make a diagnosis. Don’t be afraid to ask for a second and maybe a third opinion until the final diagnosis is made. You can always ask for natural treatments or for a special diet. There are many alternative ways to deal with the symptoms, but always consult your doctor before making any decisions. It is very necessary to be strong throughout the treatment procedure, because the condition is very painful, and one has to bear the pain sometimes during their treatment. Dealing with endometriosis is a very long process, and you should be ready for that, and, remember, never give up.