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Sure Signs You Have Endometriosis Like Amy Schumer

Doctor explains what to know about endometriosis and signs you have the painful

Endometriosis is a chronic condition that affects women of childbearing age and causes severe pelvic pain, painful sexual intercourse, abdominal bloating and sometimes infertility. According to the World Health Organization, as estimated 190 million women worldwide live with endometriosis and comedian and actress Amy Schumer is one of them. The mother of one documented her health journey with the disease and shared that she had her appendix and uterus removed after struggling with endometriosis, a condition where the tissue that usually lines the uterus grows outside of it., for years. Schumer posted on Instagram, "I feel good. Finally. It's been a journey thanks for helping me get my strength back @seckinmd(endo) @jordanternermd (lipo)," she began. "Never thought i would do anything but talk to me after your uterus doesn't contract for 2.5 years and you turn 40. @paulvincent22 vickie Lee (acupuncture) my girl Nicole from the tox my friends and fam. Let's go!" Eat This, Not That! Health spoke with Dr. Tomi Mitchell, a Board-Certified Family Physician with Holistic Wellness Strategies who explained what to know about endometriosis and signs that indicate you could have it, As always, please consult with your physician for medical advice. Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.


What is Endometriosis?

Woman with endometriosis abdominal pain

Dr. Mitchell says, "Endometriosis is a chronic and progressive condition that affects women of reproductive age. The main symptom of endometriosis is pelvic pain, ranging from mild to severe. Other symptoms include painful periods, pain during sex, and difficulty conceiving. Endometriosis occurs when the tissue lining the uterus (the endometrium) grows outside the uterus. This displaced tissue continues to act as it would inside the uterus, thickening and shedding each month in response to hormonal cues. However, because this tissue cannot exit the body, it becomes trapped, leading to inflammation and pain. Endometriosis most commonly affects the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and tissue lining the pelvis; however, it may also occur in other parts of the body in rare cases. There is no cure for endometriosis, but symptoms can be managed with medication or surgery," Dr. Mitchell emphasizes. "Some women also find relief from complementary and alternative therapies such as acupuncture or massage. If you think you may have endometriosis, talk to your doctor about your symptoms and treatment options."


Diagnosis and Treatment Options

patient speaking with doctor

According to Dr. Mitchell, "Endometriosis is a condition that can be difficult to diagnose due to its varied symptoms. Common symptoms include painful cramping, heavy bleeding during menstruation, and discomfort or pain during sex or bowel movements. To determine if a woman has endometriosis, her doctor will typically perform a pelvic exam to look for potential lesions and tissue growths in the reproductive organs. They may also order an ultrasound, CT scan, MRI scan, or laparoscopy to take a closer look at the reproductive organs. Once a woman has been diagnosed with endometriosis, several treatment options are available. Treatment may involve over-the-counter medications such as painkillers or hormonal medicines like birth control pills for mild cases. More severe cases of endometriosis require surgery to remove any tissue growths and lesions from the affected areas of the body. Additionally, lifestyle changes such as stopping smoking and maintaining a healthy weight can help alleviate some of the symptoms associated with this condition. Ultimately, by speaking with your doctor about your unique situation and taking all of your symptoms and treatment preferences into account, you can find the right approach for managing endometriosis and feeling better again."


Causes of Endometriosis

Portrait of adult female doctor sitting at desk in office clinic

"Endometriosis occurs when tissue that usually lines the inside of the uterus grows outside the uterus," says Dr. Mitchell. "This tissue can attach to the ovaries, fallopian tubes, or other parts of the pelvis. When this happens, it can cause inflammation, pain, and scarring. The exact cause of endometriosis is unknown, but there are several theories about what might contribute to the development of the condition. One theory suggests that some of the uterine linings back up through the Fallopian tubes and into the pelvis during menstruation. This tissue then implants itself on organs in the pelvis and begins to grow. Another theory suggests that endometrial cells may be present at birth and migrate to other parts of the body during puberty. There is also evidence that endometriosis may run in families. If you have endometriosis, you may be at higher risk of developing ovarian cancer or cancer of the uterus lining. However, most women with endometriosis do not develop cancer."


How Endometriosis Affects Fertility

Patient couple consulting with doctor

Dr. Mitchell explains, "Endometriosis is a condition that can affect fertility by causing tissue growth outside of the uterus. This tissue growth, also known as lesions or implants, can affect the ovaries and fallopian tubes, vital for fertility and carrying a pregnancy to term. In addition to these physical changes, endometriosis can also cause painful symptoms such as severe cramping and heavy bleeding. These disruptions in normal functioning make it difficult for the body to carry out essential biological processes that allow for conception and fetal development. Despite these challenges, however, treatment options are available that can help women suffering from endometriosis conceive successfully. For example, certain hormone-based medications or surgery may be able to help reduce or eliminate pain and restore normal functioning of the ovaries and Fallopian tubes.  Ultimately, though fertility is sometimes affected by endometriosis, many treatment options are available that can help women with this condition achieve their goal of welcoming a healthy baby into their family."


What Should People Know About Endometriosis?

Closeup of a young brunette getting some aspirins from a bottle at home.

"Endometriosis is a common condition that affects millions of women across the globe," Dr. Mitchell states. "However, despite its prevalence, many people know very little about this condition or how to treat it properly. That's why it's so crucial for people to learn more about endometriosis and what they can do to manage their symptoms and seek appropriate treatment if necessary. At its most basic level, Endometriosis occurs when tissue from the uterus lining grows in other parts of the body, such as the fallopian tubes, bladder, or even on other organs. The most apparent symptom of Endometriosis is painful menstruation, with some women also experiencing pelvic pain, heavy bleeding, painful intercourse, or difficulty conceiving. Fortunately, many treatments are available for managing these symptoms and reducing the flare-ups that characterize this condition. For example, medications such as NSAIDs can help to reduce pain, while hormonal therapies like birth control pills can help balance hormones to prevent endometrial tissue growth.  Additionally, lifestyle changes like getting plenty of exercises and maintaining a healthy diet can also help manage Endometriosis and lessen its impact on one's life. With increased awareness and proper management strategies, women can live a more comfortable life."


Pelvic Pain

woman holding pelvic area in pain

"This is often the most common symptom of endometriosis," says Dr. Mitchell. "For women with endometriosis, pelvic pain is often one of the first signs of something wrong. This pain can manifest in several different ways, ranging from a dull ache to sharp cramps. In some cases, the pain may be so severe that it interferes with a woman's ability to work or walk. Pelvic pain is caused by the growth of endometrial tissue outside the uterus. This tissue can attach to the ovaries, fallopian tubes, or other organs in the pelvis. It responds to the hormonal changes of the menstrual cycle in the same way that the tissue lining the uterus does. This tissue builds up and breaks down every month, causing inflammation and pain. This pain is the only symptom of endometriosis for many women, but others may also experience heavy bleeding, pain during sex, or difficulty getting pregnant. If you are experiencing pelvic pain, it is essential to talk to your doctor to make a diagnosis and treatment can begin."


Pain With Sex

Senior couple with problem in relationship on bed

Dr. Michtell shares, "Endometriosis is a condition in which the tissue that usually lines the inside of the uterus, called endometrium, grows outside of the uterus. Since this tissue is shed each month during menstruation, wherever it exists out of the uterus will be subjected to this same shedding. This can result in severe pain and discomfort with sex, including burning sensations, pain during penetration, and overall tenderness in the pelvic area. Unfortunately, endometriosis is often misdiagnosed or overlooked as a cause of such pain. However, identifying and treating this condition early can prevent more severe complications from developing over time. For example, if you experience pain with sex and suspect that you may have endometriosis, it is essential to see your doctor for an evaluation. With proper diagnosis and treatment, patients can achieve relief from their symptoms and go on to enjoy healthy and satisfying sexual relationships."


Pain with Urination or Bowel Movements

open the bathroom door, go to toilet

According to Dr Mitchell, "Painful bowel movements or urination are the most common symptoms associated with endometriosis. This devastating condition occurs when tissue that usually grows inside the uterus instead starts to grow outside of it. As a result, these growths may exert pressure on surrounding organs, leading to discomfort and pain in the pelvic region. Symptoms like painful bowel movements and urinary frequency can thus be important indicators that one has endometriosis. Beyond this general association, however, the exact mechanisms that underlie these painful symptoms are still not fully understood. Some researchers have speculated that it might be related to changes in nerve signals originating from affected organs. Still, others believe that inflammation may be involved, as inflammation has been linked with pain sensation in other bodily areas. Whatever the cause, it is clear that painful bowel movements and urinary frequency should never be ignored and should always be discussed with a healthcare professional if they persist for more than a few days. Doing so may help serve as an early warning sign indicating that one's body is under stress due to this condition and perhaps more severe complications down the line. So remember: pain doesn't have to mean something serious, but only speaking up about it could help save your health!"


Difficulty Getting Pregnant

Female doctor is checking pregnant woman with stethoscope

Dr. Mitchell explains, "Endometriosis is a chronic, often painful condition in which the tissue that usually lines the inside of the uterus grows outside of it. This displacement can cause the misplaced tissue to attach to organs in the pelvic region, including the ovaries, Fallopian tubes, and bowel. Endometriosis can cause fertility problems in several ways. One is by inhibiting ovulation or disrupting the Fallopian tubes' normal function. The misplaced tissue may also attach to the ovaries, causing them to twist or distort. This can lead to inflammation and scarring, which can interfere with fertility. In addition, endometriosis is often associated with an imbalance of hormones that can adversely affect fertility. Infertility is often one of the first signs of endometriosis for all these reasons. If you are struggling to conceive, it is essential to consult with your doctor to rule out this condition."


Heavy Periods

Woman lying on sofa and suffering from stomach pain.

Dr. Mitchell says, "Heavy periods, or menorrhagia, are a common symptom of endometriosis. According to the Endometriosis Foundation of America, as many as 80 percent of women with endometriosis experience heavy bleeding during their period. While heavy periods can be a nuisance, they can also signify a more severe condition. For women with endometriosis, heavy bleeding can be caused by the buildup of tissue outside the uterus. This tissue can grow on the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and even the abdominal cavity lining. When this tissue sheds during menstruation, it can cause severe cramping and heavy bleeding.In some cases, the bleeding can be so heavy that it leads to anemia. If you are experiencing heavy periods, it is essential to talk to your doctor. Heavy bleeding can signify endometriosis, and early diagnosis and treatment are necessary for managing this condition."

Heather Newgen
Heather Newgen has two decades of experience reporting and writing about health, fitness, entertainment and travel. Heather currently freelances for several publications. Read more about Heather
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