7 scary signs you could have endometriosis

Discussion in 'News Feeds' started by Jessica Booth, Feb 14, 2018.

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    • Endometriosis is a common condition that affects one in 10 women in the US.
    • It can cause painful sex and heavy periods.
    • It can also affect feritlity.

    If you're a person with a vagina, then it's safe to say that you're no stranger to occasionally painful cramps or perhaps even painful penetration. These symptoms, as frustrating as they can be, can seem to just be part of having a vagina. But if you're experiencing them often, they can also be indicative of a much more serious problem: endometriosis, a painful and sometimes serious condition that affects one in 10 women in the United States. Celebrities like Julianne Hough and Daisy Ridley have opened up about their struggles with the condition.

    But how do you know if you're just experiencing some normal discomfort, or if you actually have endometriosis?

    In a normal uterus, endometrial tissue is inside the uterus and sheds whenever you get your period. For someone who has endometriosis, that tissue grows outside the uterus rather than lining it. When you have endometriosis, the tissue leaves the uterus and attaches to other parts of the body, such as the fallopian tubes or the bowels. This causes extreme pain and can even sometimes lead to infertility. Doctors don't know what causes it, and it often goes undetected until a woman has a hard time getting pregnant.

    Unfortunately, there is no cure for endometriosis. To treat it, doctors often prescribe birth control pills, which can ease flare-ups by controlling hormones. Anti-inflammatory medication, like ibuprofen, can help with the pain. For some women, it's tolerable. For others, it can be so severe that it can change the course of their life. Lena Dunham, for example, just revealed that she had a hysterectomy (removing her cervix and uterus) in an effort to get rid of the pain caused by her endometriosis.

    This is a scary thought, to say the least, which is exactly why it's important to listen to your body and speak to your gynecologist if you think you might be suffering from the symptoms of endometriosis. Here are some signs you could have it:

    Your PMS goes on for a long time.

    [​IMG]Marcos Mesa and Sam Wordley/Shutterstock

    Think about when you start to feel those telltale PMS symptoms. It will typically be a day or two before your period, as the uterine muscles begin to shed their lining. PMS should end as your period ends, or even a few days before. But if you're experiencing PMS days or weeks before getting your period, and still feeling them days after you stop bleeding, that's not a good sign.

    It might not be PMS at all, but endometriosis (if you don't have mood swings, that's a good indication it's not your period).



    Your periods are very heavy.

    [​IMG]Shutterstock

    Like so many other symptoms of endometriosis, a heavy flow is common even among women who don't have the disorder. If you have a heavy flow in the beginning of your period every month, this could very well be normal.

    But if you notice that your flow is extremely heavy for most of the duration of your period, that could be a sign of something more serious. Women with endometriosis will often also notice blood clots.



    You get terrible cramps.

    [​IMG]Zetar Infinity/Shutterstock

    Bad cramps are just par for the course when it comes to have a uterus, right? Sort of… but they can also be a sign of endometriosis. The US Department of Health and Human Services said that when endometrial tissue bleeds in places where it shouldn't, it can cause swelling and pain that leads to cramping.

    You'll typically feel it in the lower abdomen and lower back. The pain will be awful — not just cramps where you need to lie down for a bit, but cramps that make it hard to do much else except sleep.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider
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