Menstrual periods have been called the curse for centuries. So it’s no wonder than many women assume that painful cramping and heavy bleeding are a normal part of womanhood.
However, if you have to change your tampon or pad more than once every hour for several consecutive hours or if your cramping is so severe that it prevents you from going to work or school, it could be a sign of a reproductive health issue such as endometriosis.
The average blood loss during a period is 6-8 tablespoons. Although some women may release 16 teaspoons of blood or more.The blood is the lining that forms on the inside of your uterus each month as your body completes its reproductive cycle. Your hormonal flux and uterine contractions cause painful cramping.
What is endometriosis?
Endometriosis is a disease that occurs when the cells that line the uterus grow outside of your womb. It’s most often found on the outside of your uterus, fallopian tubes, ovaries, and other pelvic organs. However, the tissue can grow anywhere in your body. Endometriosis is associated with:
- Painful periods
- Painful intercourse
- Chronic pelvic pain
Endometriosis is estimated to affect up to 10% of reproductive-aged women.
Common endometriosis symptoms
Most commonly, endometriosis typically causes pain mainly during your period. However, but you may also have pain at any time during a monthly cycle. Women often experience heavy periods, bladder problems, painful bowel movements, and painful intercourse.
When to see a doctor
Pain is your body’s way of telling you something is wrong. While mild discomfort is common, it shouldn’t prevent you from going to work or school, or disrupt your life in other ways. Similarly, if your periods are abnormally heavy, you should make an appointment at Maiden Lane Medical. It’s important to get treatment for endometriosis as it can have a long-term effect on your fertility.
How a doctor can help
Our comprehensive team also understands that endometriosis is a chronic disease. They specialize in a multidisciplinary approach to chronic pelvic pain to avoid reoperation. They also work with a pain management physician, physical therapists, urologists, and a nutritionist and optimize pain control.
Treatment begins with a physical exam and tests to confirm the cause of your symptoms. For example, they may use an ultrasound or MRI to create images of your uterus and other pelvic organs to look for signs of endometriosis. In some cases, your doctor may recommend a minimally invasive laparoscopic procedure to examine your reproductive organs in more detail.
Once your doctor diagnoses your condition, they provide customized treatment plans to restore your health. For example, medical management with hormonal contraception like birth control pills or an intrauterine device may be effective in managing pain associated with endometriosis.
In severe cases, surgical management provides significant pain relief for most patients and may also protect your fertility. The surgeons at Maiden Lane Medical are experts in excisional endometriosis surgery, which is crucial for deep infiltrating endometriosis cases.
If you’re concerned about heavy painful periods or have a personal or family history of endometriosis, contact Maiden Lane Medical for help today. You don’t need to suffer through your period every month.