What is endometriosis?
Endometriosis is a condition that arises from abnormal growths of menstrual tissue in places other than the uterus – such as in the ovaries or fallopian tubes. Although around 20% of women with endometriosis do not have symptoms, about 60% of them experience extreme pelvic pain around the time of their menstrual period. The pain often radiates to the lower back, and will subside once the period ends.
Endometriosis most commonly presents in women ages 25 to 29 years old, but it can affect any female of child bearing age, with the highest incidence around age 40. Those often experience pain during sexual intercourse as well as difficulty getting pregnant.
Why is it important?
Well, besides the fact that the pain is often so severe that it interferes with day to day life, those with endometriosis are at a 50% increased risk of ovarian cancer. Although this statistic can be frightening, the good news is that there are many different types of treatments depending on severity of symptoms.
Often times, it will resolve on its own. But if it does not, your OBGYN may recommend taking NSAIDs (Non Steroidal Anti Inflammatory Drugs), such as Ibuprofen or Acetaminophen.
Many patients’ endometriosis will resolve once she starts birth control. The best types for this condition are extended cycle oral contraceptive pills, progestin containing IUDs, or the depo-provera shot. There are also oral medications besides birth control that stop ovulation, such as Lupron or Elagolix, that have been shown to help treat endometriosis. Your doctor will take into consideration your own medical history and background to help make a decision that is best for you!
Request an appointment today for birth control.