Menstrual cramping and pelvic pain can both be warning signs of endometriosis. While this condition may not be serious, it can affect the quality of your of life.
Despite it being one of the most common diseases within the field of gynecology, many women are unfamiliar with endometriosis. According to the World Health Organization, over 170 million women throughout the world suffer from this condition, 20% of which are childbearing age.
Endometriosis is a benign (non-cancerous) condition that occurs when the endometrium (the mucous membrane that lines the inside of the uterus) grows in other areas of the abdomen where it normally doesn’t such as the intestine, the peritoneum or even in extreme cases, the lungs.
According to the Colombian Federation of Obstetrics and Gynecology (Fecoslog), while the cause of this disease is still unknown, research from Harvard University in the United States has demonstrated that it may be related to genetic, immunological or environmental factors.
How to identify it
According to the federation, the first symptom women feel when they have endometriosis is strong abdominal pain.
Keep in mind: If you suffer from strong menstrual cramps, don’t hesitate to go into detail with your physician about the type of pain you feel, when it occurs, and how long you have been experiencing it. This information is essential to improving the accuracy of diagnostic test results.
Some of the other main symptoms it causes include painful or irregular menstruation, painful intercourse, pain when urinating, and pelvic pain. It may also not cause any symptoms, however. In such cases, endometriosis is often discovered when women go to their physicians after experiencing difficulties to become pregnant, as it is one of the main causes of infertility.
Related article: Endometriosis, a hidden cause of menstrual pain