Pelvic pain is usually the first sign of endometriosis. If you’re experiencing painful periods, excessive bleeding, or pain in the lower back, a prompt diagnosis is important. At Gynecology and Obstetrics Medical Group in Long Beach, California, Dr. Essam Taymour offers comprehensive women’s health services to identify and treat endometriosis and its associated symptoms. Contact the office to schedule your appointment and find relief from endometriosis pain.

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What is endometriosis?

Endometriosis is a disorder where uterine tissue starts growing outside the uterus, affecting the pelvis lining, fallopian tubes, or the ovaries. Endometrial tissue continues to thicken and break down according to your regular menstrual cycle. As the tissue is outside the uterus, the body isn’t able to dispel it.

Once trapped, the remaining tissue becomes irritated, growing scar and fibrous tissue, which sticks to surrounding tissues and organs. Untreated endometriosis can lead to fertility issues and increased levels of abdominal pain.

What are the symptoms of endometriosis?

Endometriosis pain is most prevalent during your menstrual cycle. Endometriosis worsens normal pain from cramping, often resulting in severe pain in the lower back and abdomen during your period and for several days after.

Other symptoms of endometriosis may include:

  • Bloating
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Heavy periods and excessive bleeding
  • Pain during intercourse
  • Pain during urination or bowel movements
  • Infertility

What are the risk factors for developing endometriosis?

A number of factors may increase your risk of developing endometriosis, including:

  • Family history
  • Uterus abnormalities
  • Starting menstruation at a young age
  • Experiencing menopause at an older age
  • Short menstrual cycles (those lasting 27 days or less)
  • Higher levels of estrogen
  • Low body mass index

Endometriosis typically develops several years after menstruation starts. It ends permanently once you reach menopause unless you’re receiving estrogen hormone therapy. Symptoms of the condition also temporarily dissipate during pregnancy.

What are the treatment options for endometriosis?

A number of non-surgical methods are available for treating endometriosis, including pain medications and hormone therapies. There are also minimally-invasive surgical options to remove the excess tissue while protecting the surrounding organs. Severe cases of endometriosis may require a hysterectomy.

Untreated endometriosis can lead to infertility as the tissue can obstruct the fallopian tubes, preventing the egg from reaching the sperm. This condition may also result in damage to the egg or sperm. Endometriosis can also increase the risk of ovarian cancer.

Endometriosis is a treatable condition and, with proper treatment, women diagnosed with it can still conceive and deliver a full-term, healthy pregnancy, as well as receive long-term pain relief.