If you suffer from chronic pelvic pain that occurs just before or after your period, you may want to consider whether it’s endometriosis. As a condition that often slips under the radar, some may confuse endometriosis with periods that are simply just painful or other non-gynaecological conditions. The key to treating this condition is knowing the tell-tale signs, as well as the options available for treatment.
How can you tell the difference between pain from endometriosis and normal period pain?
Endometriosis pains usually arise in those who otherwise experienced normal periods. In addition, they arrive alongside heavy bleeding and usually don’t respond to over-the-counter medications such as Paracetamol or Ibuprofen. Some, but not all, women may also experience signs such as:
- Bleeding from the rectum; it is important to highlight this with your doctor, as it may relate to other conditions.
- Pain upon urination during your period
- Difficulty conceiving
While other conditions can cause these symptoms too, it’s always worth examining endometriosis as a possibility.
Is endometriosis easy to diagnose?
Although some women with this condition will feature signs such as enlarged ovaries or nodules that their doctor can feel, many undergo a pelvic examination that returns normal findings and still have endometriosis. The doctor making the diagnosis will, therefore, pay close attention to the history of the pelvic pain. Another way to make the diagnosis is through laparoscopic surgery, which is also a means of treating the condition.
What are the treatment options for endometriosis?
If you are suffering from endometriosis, your doctor will treat you after finding out whether you want to have children in the near future, how bad your symptoms are, and what your wishes are. One of the first ways to treat endometriosis is through the use of pain relief and an oral contraceptive. However, there are alternatives should you wish to avoid contraceptives. These are other hormonal therapies that don’t have a contraceptive effect. Current guidelines recommend taking this approach for three months before moving onto laparoscopy, which a London gynaecologist can use to confirm the condition. It’s possible to use conservative surgery to relieve the pain and symptoms of this condition too.
If you have any concerns about your pelvic pains, don’t hesitate to seek medical guidance. While there isn’t always a gynaecological cause, eliminating such causes brings you closer to reaching a definitive diagnosis.