Women experience various symptoms at different points in their menstrual cycles, including mild and temporary bloating. However, abdominal bloating is another common symptom of endometriosis. Endo belly ranges in severity, but in some cases, it can cause severe distension and discomfort.
Here at Maiden Lane Medical, our pelvic pain experts offer state-of-the-art diagnoses and personalized treatments for endometriosis. If you have any symptoms of endometriosis, including severe and persistent abdominal distension, make an appointment for diagnosis and evaluation.
After assessing your condition, we can provide the treatment you need to relieve your symptoms and restore your reproductive health.
What is endo belly?
Endo belly is the colloquial term for abdominal distension caused by endometriosis. Unlike the short-term bloating that sometimes accompanies your period, endo belly is much more severe, triggering physical, mental, and emotional symptoms. While the severe bloating may subside after a few hours, it can also persist in a less severe form for days or even weeks.
The symptoms of endo belly include pain and severe distension. Your abdomen may be tender to touch and often worsen throughout the day. Many endometriosis patients say that by the end of the day, they can’t button their pants or that they look like they’re pregnant.
Why does endo belly happen?
Endometriosis and its symptoms aren’t well understood. There are many factors that we are still studying. When it comes to endo belly, we know that endometrial tissue on your abdominal and pelvic organs can cause inflammation.
Endometriosis on your ovaries can also trap blood and other fluids, leading to the formation of ovarian cysts. There are also links between endometriosis and gastrointestinal issues, including gas and constipation.
When should I talk to a doctor about endo belly?
If you have symptoms of a reproductive health issue, the sooner you make an appointment with one of the pelvic pain experts at Maiden Lane Medical, the better.
Many health conditions can cause symptoms like a swollen abdomen and pelvic pain, and the first step in treatment is diagnosing the underlying condition.
How can you treat endo belly?
We offer personalized treatment plans for patients with endometriosis. Depending on your needs, your gynecologist may recommend:
Your doctor may suggest nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen or aspirin. These medications can help manage inflammation and reduce bloating.
Prescription hormonal medications
Sometimes gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) antagonists such as Lurpon® or androgen such as danazol are prescribed. These work to block the hormones that regulate your menstrual cycle and prevent endometriosis tissue formation.
While there is no cure for endometriosis, in severe cases, surgery may be your best option for long-term pain relief or assistance in improving fertility. Historically, a hysterectomy was used to treat endometriosis, research shows that this is not always needed.
The surgeons at Maiden Lane Medical offer state-of-the-art laparoscopic endometriosis resections with or without a hysterectomy depending on the patient’s needs.
During this minimally invasive surgery, your surgeon carefully removes the endometriosis and scar tissue from your pelvic and abdominal organs without damaging your uterus, ovaries, or other reproductive organs.
Will the bloating go away after endo surgery?
Yes, endometriosis surgery often resolves the underlying cause of your abdominal swelling. You may have some post-surgical swelling and discomfort, so your relief won’t be immediate.
However, as your post-surgical symptoms subside and your body heals, you should notice a significant decrease in abdominal swelling, pelvic pain, and other signs of endometriosis.
Can I prevent endo belly?
Your gynecologist may suggest following an anti-inflammatory diet. An anti-inflammatory diet consists of avoiding foods such as red meat, dairy, caffeine, and alcohol can help control abdominal inflammation and bloating.
Consuming fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and other high-fiber options promotes overall gut health. This can help reduce inflammation, swelling, and bloating. Some women find that following a keto diet can reduce many of their symptoms.
Don’t delay seeing a pelvic pain expert at Maiden Lane Medical if you suspect you have endo belly or any other symptoms suspicious of endometriosis.
The earlier you get an accurate diagnosis and start appropriate treatment, the more quickly your painful and disruptive symptoms will subside so you can return to a healthy and active lifestyle.