Our Round Rock OBGYNS help patients understand and cope with endometriosis
Endometriosis is a condition that usually affects women during their reproductive years, particularly in their 30s and 40s. The Endometriosis Association estimates that endometriosis affects at least 6.3 million women in the United States. Our Round Rock OBGYNS diagnose and treat women with this often elusive problem.
What is endometriosis?
Put simply, endometriosis occurs when the tissue that lines the uterus, or the endometrium, grows in other areas of the pelvic cavity. This displaced tissue (containing glands, blood cells and connecting tissue) is also known as implants. The implants most often occur in the ovaries, fallopian tubes, the ligaments supporting the uterus, the uterus’ outer surface, the pelvic cavity lining or in the area between the vagina and the rectum.
This chronic condition may become more severe over time because the implants may continue to grow. The implants swell in response to the estrogen your ovaries produce during the menstrual cycle, but unlike normal uterine tissue, these implants are not shed during your cycle, leading to a buildup of blood and tissue. The area around the implants may also become swollen, inflamed or irritated. Furthermore, when the implants break down and bleed during a menstrual cycle, this can cause scar tissue to form. Our Round Rock OBGYNS want women to know that all of these problems—scar tissue, the inflammation and irritation—can cause pain, which is more intense before and during your menstrual cycle. However, some women with severe endometriosis experience no symptoms.
Risk factors for Endometriosis
Doctors and researchers are still uncertain as to what causes endometriosis, but our Round Rock OBGYNS do know that there are risk factors that make women more likely to develop endometriosis.
These include women who have:
- Not had children
- A relative (mother, sister, aunt) with endometriosis
- Short (27 days or fewer) or long (more than seven days) menstrual cycles
- Health issues
- Structural issues that cause a blockage that prevents the normal flow of menstrual blood
Symptoms of endometriosis
Many of the patients our Round Rock OBGYNS treat for endometriosis experience pain as the primary symptom, but the type of pain varies from patient to patient. Pain often occurs before and during menstruation, especially painful cramps which can worsen over time. Other areas of pain include: pain that occurs during or after sexual intercourse; chronic pelvic pain; chronic lower back pain; pain that occurs during urination or a bowel movement or urination; and intestinal pain.
Other endometriosis symptoms include digestive problems such as nausea, constipation or diarrhea or bloating, particularly during menstruation, or spotting or bleeding between menstrual periods.
Many patients come to see our Round Rock OBGYNS when they are experiencing fertility problems, which may be associated with endometriosis. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists reports that approximately 40% of women who have fertility problems also have endometriosis.
Women can trust our Round Rock OBGYNS and their staff to provide them with the care and expertise a diagnosis of endometriosis requires.
Endometriosis can be difficult to diagnose, but our Round Rock OBGYNS have the experience necessary to diagnose and treat patients with this often painful and problematic condition. Contact us for an appointment.