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Aspirus Gynecologist: Women don’t have to live with chronic pelvic pain


Dr. Joelle Wennlund, Aspirus Gynecologist

Endometriosis is a prevalent but often misunderstood condition that affects millions of women worldwide. It is characterized by the presence of endometrial-like tissue outside the uterus, leading to a range of symptoms and challenges for those affected.


In honor of Endometriosis Awareness Month, Dr. Joelle Wennlund, a Board-Certified Gynecologist with Aspirus Health, recently sat down to share important information on identifying this painful condition.



"The most common symptom of endometriosis is pelvic pain," says Dr. Wennlund, who sees patients at Aspirus Woodruff Clinic – Maple Street and Howard Young Medical Center.


According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), endometriosis accounts for approximately 70 percent of cases of chronic pelvic pain in women. Other symptoms may include:

  • Heavy menstrual bleeding
  • Pain during intercourse
  • Discomfort during bowel movements


Endometriosis affects 10 to 15 percent of all women of reproductive age and tends to occur most frequently in women in their 30s and 40s.



"If someone is experiencing pelvic pain of any kind, they should visit their gynecologist," advises Dr. Wennlund. "It's important to share all symptoms."


Your gynecologist will conduct a thorough examination, which may include a pelvic exam and imaging tests such as ultrasound. These diagnostic measures help determine the extent of the disease and guide treatment decisions.



The NIH explains that endometriosis greatly impacts women’s health and quality of life, so it’s important to treat it. Treatment options vary and depend on the extent of the disease, the symptoms, and whether the patient wants to grow their family. Treatment may include medication, surgery, or both. When pain is the primary problem, medication usually is tried first.


"As patients transition through different stages of life, we adjust treatment approaches accordingly, taking into account their evolving needs and preferences,” says Dr. Wennlund. "Regardless of age, our goal is to provide comprehensive care that addresses not only the physical symptoms of endometriosis but also the emotional and psychological aspects of living with a chronic condition."



Endometriosis is closely linked to estrogen levels and tends to be most severe during a woman's most fertile period. It occurs when endometrial-like tissue grows outside the uterus, leading to inflammation, scarring, and pelvic pain.


If you are experiencing pelvic pain and/or suspect you may have endometriosis, , don't hesitate to seek help from a gynecologist. Early diagnosis and intervention can make a significant difference in managing the condition and improving your quality of life.


To schedule an appointment with Dr. Wennlund at Aspirus Woodruff Clinic, call 715-356-8718. For more information or to find an Aspirus OB/GYN, visit



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