As if having to deal with "that time of the month" isn't enough of a pain, many women suffer from painful menstruation due to endometriosis.
Endometriosis is the condition when uterine lining tissue strays outside the womb and grows in places it isn't supposed to be. Pretty much anywhere in the pelvic cavity is unfortunately fair game for this stray tissue, and it can often be found on the ovaries, the fallopian tubes, and on the pelvic sidewall. This "misplaced" tissue causes pain since it reacts to monthly hormonal changes. Patches of endometriosis grow and add extra tissue and blood just like uterine lining, but there is no place for the built-up tissue and blood to exit the body causing excess pressure on surrounding organs. For this reason, growths tend to get bigger and the symptoms of endometriosis often get worse over time.
Along with causing pain, endometriosis can cause infertility. There are many different approaches to treating this condition, including hormone treatments like the birth control pill and surgery to remove the tissue. If you think you have endometriosis you should definitely consult with a gynecologist. Visit Endometriosis.org to see a list of questions your physician is likely to ask you. It is always a good idea to be prepared for a visit to the doctor.
Are you dealing with endometriosis? If you have had success managing your symptoms, share your tips in the comments section below.