During your menstrual cycle, the endometrium -- the lining of your uterus -- thickens with blood vessels in preparation for pregnancy. If you don’t become pregnant during that monthly cycle, part of your endometrium sheds, leading to menstrual bleeding.
With endometriosis, the endometrium not only grows on the inside of your uterus, but also on the outside and possibly in the fallopian tubes, ovaries, and the tissue lining your pelvis. And like the endometrium inside the uterus, when you don’t become pregnant during your cycle, the endometrium in the other areas of your pelvis also tries to shed, causing trapped tissues and pain.
In addition to heavy bleeding, women with endometriosis may struggle with infertility and experience pain during menstruation, sex, urination, and bowel movements. Some women also experience fatigue, nausea, constipation, or diarrhea.
Experts aren’t certain what causes endometriosis, but there are a number of possible explanations. One theory is that menstrual blood with endometrial cells flows back into the fallopian tubes and other areas of the pelvic cavity, transplanting the endometrial cells. It’s also thought that an immune system disorder may prevent the body from destroying the endometrial cells when they travel to other areas of the pelvis.
There are a number of factors that increase your risk of developing endometriosis, including:
After a formal diagnosis, usually by physical exam, vaginal ultrasound, or laparoscopy, Dr. Weyhrich develops a treatment plan to help you manage the pain and discomfort associated with endometriosis.
Common treatments include:
While endometriosis may be a possible cause of your pelvic pain, it’s not the only gynecological cause of pelvic pain. Ovulation, a ruptured ovarian cyst, and fibroid degeneration are all possible causes of pelvic pain. Pelvic inflammatory disease, which is an infection in the pelvis, can also cause pain in the pelvic region.
Scheduling an appointment with Dr. Weyhrich is important to help determine the exact cause of pelvic pain and get the right treatment. Call the office today or make an appointment online.
Feel free to email us regarding any scheduling or general questions!