Managing Endometriosis Pain

Many women around the world are affected by a condition that can cause debilitating pain. Often dismissed as severe period cramps, these women suffer from something else entirely. Endometriosis is a collection of tissue that comes from the endometrium and grows outside of the uterine walls. This tissue can attach itself to areas like the fallopian tubes, ovaries, or other pelvic regions. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), approximately 10 percent of reproductive-age women are affected by endometriosis.

Endometriosis Symptoms

Endometriosis can cause painful cramping during menstruation and outside of cycles, as well as GI distress, and pain during intercourse, bowel movements or urination. Some women also find difficulty working, or experience infertility issues associated with endometriosis. Oftentimes, these symptoms are initially dismissed as painful periods, and some women can suffer for years from untreated pelvic pain before seeking a diagnosis. In fact, endometriosis is most often diagnosed for women in their 30s and 40s.

Diganosing Endometriosis

Endometriosis is a condition diagnosed by exclusion, meaning your doctor will consider your presenting symptoms and exclude other causes of those symptoms before settling on endometriosis – kind of like a medical process of elimination. This process includes tests, such as a pelvic exam and ultrasound to rule out other conditions that could also be a source of pelvic pain. Once testing is complete, your doctor will have a better idea of your condition moving forward.

Treating Endometriosis

While there is no cure, there are endometriosis treatment options available to decrease your symptoms and pain. Treatment for endometriosis differs from patient to patient. For women who aren’t trying to get pregnant, forms of hormonal birth control, like pills or intrauterine devices (IUDs), can help ease symptoms. For those who are trying to get pregnant, there are other medications that can help decrease symptoms, as well. In some cases, usually those with severe symptoms, surgeons can perfrom endometriosis surgery to remove the endometriosis directly from the pelvic area. However, this procedure can also leave behind scar tissue, which can cause pain for the patient. Surgery also doesn’t guarantee that the endometriosis will not come back, which is why most physicians will offer birth control or medication options first.

Endometriosis Treatment in Hampton Roads, VA

When it comes to endometriosis, management is key. In addition to endometriosis treatment, eating a healthy diet and regular exercise can also offer relief from  symptoms. “Continue to seek care to help manage symptoms and get relief of pain,” said Christina Gonzalez-Wilson, a women’s health nurse practitioner at TPMG Obstetrics and Gynecology in Hampton, VA. “No one should have to suffer through endometriosis pain without treatment.”

Talk to a TPMG provider today about endometriosis treatment in Hampton, Newport News, Williamsburg & White Marsh, VA.

Christina Gonzalez-Wilson, DNP, WHNP

About Christina Gonzalez-Wilson, DNP, WHNP

Christina Gonzalez-Wilson, DNP, WHNP, is a board certified Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner in Hampton at TPMG Obstetrics & Gynecology. As a women’s health nurse practitioner, Christina is dedicated to establishing patient-provider relationships rooted in strong communication and takes an individualized approach to care. Christina has over 15 years of experience specializing in women’s health. She treats a variety of conditions, such as dysfunctional uterine bleeding (DUB) in perimenopausal women and fertility issues.

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