‘My period hurts a lot; do I have endometriosis?’ More than one woman has considered this possibility due to the strong discomfort before and during menstruation. Menstruation pain can often be annoying or even unbearable: punctures in the lower abdomen, pressure on the kidneys, diarrhea… If you are one of those people who finds it a real ordeal to have your period, you may have considered or have ever been suggested that you have endometriosis.
But what is it? If your period hurts a lot, does it mean that you suffer from it? No! Not all women who have menstrual pain suffer from it, but it would be better if you find out more about this pathology and be clear about what it is and what symptoms it has. Go for it.
What is endometriosis
- Endometriosis is a benign disease that affects approximately 15 % of women of childbearing age. Its name comes from its endo (inside) metrium (uterus) origin, which is why, as you suppose, it affects the tissue that lines the inside of the uterus.
- In itself, it consists of this tissue growing beyond the natural place where it should be. Most of the time it extends through the pelvic area: ovaries, intestines or bladder. It can cause small plaques or implants, nodules and cysts.
- You can diagnose 4 different stages or degrees, with 1 being the minimum in which isolated implants are produced without adherence and the maximum 4, which would produce cysts and adhesions of great extension.
Why does my period hurt so much?
- As in all diseases, there is a set of factors that can make endometriosis more prone, although, on some occasions, it has been shown that it can be hereditary.
- These factors can be, for example, having started your period at a very young age, having abundant periods during all the days that it lasts, having very short cycles (less than 27 days), having a closed hymen (since can block menstrual flow) and, of course, mothers or sisters with said disease.
- The exact causes that can cause endometriosis are not known, although there are several theories that point to why it can occur. The most famous and widespread talks about a retrograde flow. That is, the menstrual tissue does not flow outward but instead returns to the fallopian tubes and is deposited in the pelvic organs. Once there, they attach and multiply, causing endometriosis.
What symptoms does endometriosis have?
One of the main symptoms of endometriosis is pain (which increases progressively over time). In fact, if it hurts a lot, you may have wondered if you suffer from it, although we have to tell you that it is not the only symptom it presents. Pay attention to the other signs:
- Problems getting pregnant.
- Pain when having sexual relations and when finishing them, since vaginal areas affected by endometriosis are pressed.
- Pain in the lower abdomen and back, as well as when going to the bathroom.
- Abundant and very short periods.
- Small blood loss between periods.
In general, the diagnosis of this pathology can be late. Therefore, if you think you may suffer from the symptoms, do not be alarmed and consult your doctor to stay calmer.
Can I prevent endometriosis?
- To this day there are no specific prevention measures, although it is true that treatment with contraceptives can help to avoid or delay the pathology.
- Pregnancy usually stops the symptoms since it exerts a protective effect on the development of this. However, in no case should this be advised simply to control endometriosis.
- If you think that you may be within that part of the population that suffers from this pathology, see your doctor as we have said above. He will advise you to do the relevant tests for detection and subsequent treatment.