Posts for tag: Pain
Endometriosis is a gynecological condition affecting millions of American women of child-bearing years. An extreme overgrowth of the lining of the uterus (endometrium), this painful and persistent malady leaves some women infertile, in pain and even debilitated from the symptoms. Are you one of them? A visit with your OB/GYN doctor will uncover the reasons and treatments for your endometriosis.
Symptoms of endometriosis
The most frequent symptom is severe cramping before, during and after menstruation. Periods may be unusually long in duration or very short. Lower back pain and migraine headaches occur through out the monthly cycle, and many women report difficulty with bowel movements and a feeling of "heaviness"in the lower abdomen.
Some sufferers of endometriosis experience weight gain and unfortunately...infertility. Endometriosis can block the fallopian tubes and interior of the uterus so sperm cannot reach and fertilize eggs. Endometrial tissue often appears in odd areas such as on the ovaries or the bowel.
Who gets endometriosis?
The Office on Women's Health reports that a full 11 percent of women between the ages of 15 and 44 suffer with endometriosis. The condition appears to run in families, and it is common among women who have never had children. Autoimmune conditions such as allergies, MS and Lupus often co-exist with endometriosis.
Finding and treating endometriosis
Reporting your symptoms of endometriosis to your obstetrician/gynecologist is critical to diagnosis and treatment. He or she will perform a pelvic examination and may do ultrasound or magnetic resonance imaging.
Treatment options vary, but frankly, surgery usually is not a first choice. Medical management with hormones and pain medications is preferable. Your OB/GYN will want to monitor your symptoms and treatment plan closely to help you manage this often-frustrating condition.
In addition, many women experience significant symptom relief if they:
- Exercise regularly.
- Deep breathe through periods of abdominal or lower back pain.
- Manage stress levels and the amount of cortisol, the stress hormone, in the bloodstream.
- Eat more vegetables and fruits, and reduce gluten and refined sugars which produce inflammatory reactions in the abdomen.
While we know that dealing with your period each month is never a party, we also understand that every woman experiences their period differently. Some women barely, if ever have any symptoms or problems during this time of the month; while other women experience symptoms that are so painful and debilitating that it takes a toll on their personal and professional lives. If you are dealing with painful periods then it’s time to read on to find out how to relieve these stubborn monthly symptoms.
Painful periods, medically known as dysmenorrhea, don’t refer to the normal cramping and discomfort that can easily be remedied with pain relievers or a heating pad. Dysmenorrhea refers to either lower abdominal pain and cramping that lasts a few days before your period starts (primary dysmenorrhea) or cramping that appears as a result of another condition such as endometriosis (secondary dysmenorrhea).
Fortunately, there are ways to tackle this problem if this is something you are experiencing. While some women find relief from over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications when they experience menstrual cramps, if you deal with severe pain you may want to consider taking this pain medication a couple days before your period even begins. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications have the ability to greatly lessen and even stop uterine cramping while also decreasing your flow.
Along with these medications, you can also turn to alternative therapy such as acupuncture to help manage your symptoms, or turn to certain therapeutic exercises such as yoga to ease cramping.
If you don’t experience the relief you need through over-the-counter treatments, you’ll want to turn to your gynecologist for more specific care. Sometimes oral contraceptives are prescribed because they are effective for lessening both blood flow and menstrual cramping due to the hormones within the pills.
It’s important that if you have any questions or concerns about your period that you turn to a gynecologist who can provide you with the proper care and treatment you need. If painful periods are affecting you and aren’t responding to lifestyle modifications or medicines, or if the pain is getting worse, it’s a good time to call your women’s doctor.
If symptoms don’t improve even with other more aggressive measures, a diagnostic procedure known as a laparoscopy may be performed to determine the source of your pain.