Endometriosis and the symptoms that come with it are enough of a burden without having to sift through conflicting information. Education and accurate facts are some of the most powerful tools to deal with a condition like endometriosis.
So in this blog, Dr. Joseph Roofeh and our team pull back the curtain, scale back the medical jargon, and give you the straight truth on a few common endometriosis myths.
Yes: endometriosis does present symptoms that look and feel like a heavy period, such as bleeding, pain, and cramps — but it’s so much more than that.
Endometriosis is not a normal part of menstruation; unfortunately, many providers will write your concerns off as an overreaction to what’s perceived as “normal.” In fact, one study found that it can take upwards of seven years to get an accurate diagnosis.
We take a different approach. When you come to us with pain and abnormal bleeding, we leave no stone unturned and ensure we’ve done everything to accurately assess what’s causing your symptoms.
Unfortunately, because we don’t know exactly what causes endometriosis, there’s no foolproof way to prevent it. You can reduce your chances of developing by lowering the levels of estrogen in your body because estrogen is one of the main culprits in thickening the lining of your uterus. You can keep your hormone levels in check by doing the following:
Also, if you’re taking hormonal birth control, opt for a method with a lower dose of estrogen to make sure you don’t flood your system with extra of the hormone.
Pain and cramping are usually among the first signs of endometriosis. The key word there is “usually.” Endometriosis can present without pain and sometimes isn’t diagnosed until you start investigating.
Though endometriosis is one of the leading causes of female infertility in the US and can contribute to an increased risk of miscarriages, most women with endometriosis can become pregnant without any medical assistance.
Some have claimed that pregnancy is a “cure” for endometriosis. It’s possible to get relief from your symptoms during pregnancy, but don’t count on it to eliminate them.
Endometriosis symptoms typically occur during menstruation, so you may think menopause is the answer. However, many women continue to struggle with endometriosis long after they’ve had their last monthly cycle. Even when you’ve hit menopause, your ovaries still release a small amount of estrogen, which can trigger endometrial growth.
So it’s a gamble whether or not menopause will bring an end to your symptoms. Many menopausal women still dealing with endometriosis end up opting for surgery to eliminate it.
It may seem logical that getting rid of your uterus will stop abnormal uterine growth; however, endometriosis can continue if there are lesions still present outside of your uterus. Also, a hysterectomy doesn’t remove your ovaries, where estrogen production happens.
It’s rare, but endometrium-like tissue can appear in other places beyond your pelvic region. For example, endometrium-like tissue has been found in the lungs.
The first signs of endometriosis often show up during a routine pelvic exam or an ultrasound — we confirm it with a biopsy or surgery that more closely analyzes suspicious growth. Then, we get to work creating a customized treatment plan. Usually, we begin by recommending over-the-counter medications to relieve pain.
Some women benefit from starting birth control, while others have more aggressive cases and require surgery to remove excess endometrial tissue.
Now that you know the truth, it’s time to get relief. Call our friendly staff at 310-552-1700 or use our online booking tool to schedule an appointment at our Century City, Los Angeles, California, office today.