Endometriosis affects millions of women in the US, making it one of the most common reproductive health concerns. The condition occurs when endometrial (uterine lining) tissue extends beyond the uterus, affecting the ovaries, Fallopian tubes, pelvic walls, and other organs (in more severe cases). Endometriosis can cause several unpleasant symptoms including debilitating pain and inflammation throughout the pelvic area, pain during or after sex, unusually long and heavy periods, digestive issues, and more. Despite how common it is, endometriosis can often be misunderstood. That’s why our board-certified gynecologists have taken some time to provide a few essential facts about the condition and how it can affect women.
- It is estimated that roughly 1 in every 10 women will experience endometriosis in their lifetime. Roughly 6.5 million women in the US currently have endometriosis.
- Although endometriosis can develop as early as a girl’s first period, it is most common for women who in their 30’s and 40’s.
- Endometriosis affects all women differently; the frequency and severity varies significantly and is often based on the stage of disease, which is diagnosed at time of surgery.
- For some women, there is a link between endometriosis and infertility. Somewhere between 30-40% of women with endometriosis also suffer from fertility issues. That’s why it is important for women with even mild endometriosis to be proactive when thinking about their fertility, even if they’re not planning on becoming pregnant in the immediate future.
- There is no cure for endometriosis, but there are several effective treatment options available. Depending on your needs or preferences, endometriosis can be treated with medications like birth control pills or GnRH (gonadotropin releasing hormone) agonists or by performing surgery to remove the endometriosis. For women who do not wish to become pregnant in the future, a hysterectomy or ablation can also be used to treat more extreme endometriosis symptoms.
Living with endometriosis can be a painful, frustrating, and emotional experience. It is important for women to understand their diagnosis and make a plan with their provider to manage their symptoms. For more information on endometriosis or if you would like to request an appointment with board-certified gynecologist Dr. Kristine Gould, Physician Assistant Nikki McCann, or our new Nurse Practitioner Michelle Johnson, please contact Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett today. You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more tips, news, and details on our upcoming health and wellness events.