Chronic Endometriosis

Written by Amy Hall
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Chronic endometriosis can produce debilitating symptoms in some women and mild symptoms in others, while some experience no symptoms whatsoever. The fact that many of the symptoms of endometriosis mirror many other conditions can make it challenging to diagnose. The most common telltale signs of endometriosis include: abdominal cramping, pelvic tenderness, painful periods, pain during intercourse, pre-period spotting, heavy periods, bowel problems such as diarrhea and/or constipation, painful bowel movements, bladder symptoms such as burning during urination or the urgency to urinate, reduced fertility, miscarriages, and pain during ovulation.

Oftentimes a woman who has bowel endometriosis is diagnosed with having Irritable Bowel Syndrome or Spastic Colon, as the symptoms are difficult to differentiate. Bladder endometriosis can be confused with a urinary tract infection, although a culture should rule out the latter with a negative result. Endometriosis is usually confined to the pelvic region, although in rare cases it can branch out and affect the lungs or tissues in the chest and legs.

There seems to be a genetic link associated with chronic endometriosis. Women who have a mother or sister with this disease are approximately twice as likely to suffer from endometriosis as well. It should be mentioned, though, that families who live together are often exposed to the same environmental factors that may also contribute to the development of chronic endometriosis. Exposure to toxins is another possible cause of this progressive disease, which is why sisters may be more likely to develop endometriosis.

Chronic Endometriosis--Managing the Pain

There is no reason why any women with chronic endometriosis must endure the pain in silence. Medical treatments such as hormone therapy, pain medications, and/or surgery can minimize the discomfort and the complications associated with this disease. If you experience any of the symptoms of endometriosis, talk to your doctor immediately and request testing. A positive result will allow you to begin taking proactive steps to stop the progression of this disease and keep pain to a minimum, if not eliminate it entirely.

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