March is Endometriosis Awareness Month

March is Endometriosis Awareness Month, and Aspirus Health wants women to be aware of important health symptoms they should not ignore.

Endometriosis is a condition in which the type of tissue that forms the lining of the uterus (the endometrium) is found outside the uterus. It can cause a myriad of symptoms, including chronic pelvic pain, pain with voiding or bowel movements, heavy menstrual bleeding, pain during intercourse, and infertility.

Treatment options vary and depend on the extent of the disease and the symptoms, and whether the patient wants to grow their family. Endometriosis may be treated with medication, surgery, or both. When pain is the primary problem, medication usually is tried first.

“Medication may include pain medications, birth control to prevent menstrual cycles and reduce the amount of menstrual bleeding when a period occurs, or special medications to suppress the function of the ovaries and by extension the menstrual cycle,” explained Aspirus Health Physician Dennis McFadden, DO.

Typical endometrial symptoms may also mimic other conditions. Dr. McFadden says, “There are a number of conditions that may mimic endometriosis because of shared symptomatology.” These conditions include sexually transmitted infections, appendicitis, and diverticulitis.

The bottom line? If a woman is experiencing the symptoms listed above, she should talk with her OB/GYN promptly.