Did you know that endometriosis is one of the leading causes of infertility and pelvic pain in women? According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, up to 75 percent of women with abdominal pain may have the disorder. Awareness of the risk factors and symptoms can help you distinguish between normal menstrual pain and endometriosis.
Endometriosis is a condition where tissue normally lining the uterus begins to grow outside the uterus. This can lead to abnormal periods, severe pelvic pain, pain during sex and even infertility. Up to 10 percent of women have endometriosis.
Any woman can develop the disorder, but several risk factors can increase your chances:
If you have a family history of endometriosis, you are more likely to develop it in your lifetime. If your mother, grandmother or any other family member has had it, you should let your doctor know.
Early Menstruation and Late Menopause
If you started your period at a young age or menopause at an older age, you are also more likely to develop endometriosis. The average age for women to begin menstruation is 12½ years old, and the average age to begin menopause is 51.
Some warning signs that can point to endometriosis include:
Pelvic pain is relatively common and can be caused by several different things. Pain that begins around ovulation and persists through menses may be related to endometriosis. Pain during or after sex may also be due to the disorder.
Difficulty becoming pregnant can be caused by endometriosis or complications of endometriosis.
Endometriosis can be associated with abnormal periods. Some symptoms include irregular or heavier than normal bleeding.
Bloating, pain with bowel movements, and bladder pain may be caused by endometriosis.
If you believe you may be at risk for endometriosis, talk to your gynecologist about taking preventative measures and monitoring any symptoms you may develop. If you think you may already be suffering from endometriosis, schedule a time to be evaluated by your gynecologist.
UCF Health offers specialized gynecologic care for women with endometriosis.
Weekly Health Tips are brought to you by UCF Health, the College of Medicine’s physician practice. Offering primary and specialty care under one roof, UCF Health treats patients age 16 and up in primary care and age 18 and up for specialty care. Most major insurance plans are accepted. Two locations are now open: the original in East Orlando at Quadrangle and University boulevards just blocks from the main UCF campus, and the newest one in Medical City at Narcoossee Road and Tavistock Lakes Boulevard. Information for both facilities can be found at UCFHealth.com, or call (407) 266-DOCS to schedule an appointment.
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