Wondering if you may be suffering from endometriosis? You’re not alone.
1 in 10 women in the United States live with endometriosis. And, each of these women experience different symptoms. Some experience extreme pain, while others don’t have any pain at all. Women’s endo journeys are extremely unique and personal. It’s important to understand the wide variety of endometriosis symptoms to be able to recognize if it is something you may be going through yourself.
Although this condition is not uncommon; it has been found extremely hard to get a proper diagnosis. One reason a woman may struggle with a diagnosis is due to the very small number of endometriosis specialists throughout the country. Getting help as soon as possible is important and seeing an endometriosis specialist will help you get a diagnosis sooner. However, out of 40,000+ OB-GYNs in the United States, there are currently only 100 endometriosis specialists.
Don’t give up hope, it’s possible to find someone who can provide you with the help you need.
What is endometriosis?
Endometriosis occurs when uterine lining tissue grows outside the uterus and becomes inflamed. It is a condition that affects 7 million American women. The impact of endometriosis can start affecting girls as young as 11, and possibly even lead to creating fertility challenges for women in their child-bearing years trying to conceive. In fact, 30-50% of infertile women have endometriosis.
Living with endometriosis certainly comes with unexpected challenges. But with education and self-advocation, it’s possible to overcome these challenges through treatment and medical help. When it comes to battling endometriosis, you are not alone.
What are the main symptoms of endometriosis?
Endometriosis symptoms vary from woman to woman. Some experience mild symptoms, while others experience more moderate to severe. No matter the level of pain severity, endometriosis is a condition that should be taken seriously.
Symptoms do not necessarily indicate the degree or stage of the condition. If you think you may have endometriosis, there are a few main symptoms that you should watch closely for:
- Mild to severe pain or cramping in the pelvic area
- Cramping in the lower back, buttocks and/or legs
- Heavy periods
- Spotting or bleeding between menstrual cycles
Other symptoms include infertility, intestinal pain, fatigue and diarrhea or nausea. You may experience some of these symptoms, and not others. Some women do not experience any pain or symptoms at all.
Just as important is knowing your medical history. Women are 5-7 times more likely to be diagnosed with endometriosis if there is a history of the condition among women in their family.
When should I see a doctor?
If there’s a known history of endometriosis in your family, or you are experiencing symptoms (even just 1 or 2), it is important to get help. Unfortunately, endometriosis remains one of the most confounding conditions for women and their OB-GYNs. Despite how common the condition is, some women will wait as long as 10 years for final diagnosis.
You deserve to get help and get your life back. Seeing an endometriosis specialist will help with a quicker diagnosis. You don’t have to wait. Women can be diagnosed at ages from 15 to 35 years old. Adolescents diagnosed often share similar patterns of pain as adult women. 66% of women report experiencing symptoms as a teenager. Whether you’re 35 or 15, recognize your symptoms and get the help you need.
What if I’ve been told “no”?
Don’t give up, continue to advocate for your health by educating yourself on the condition. Don’t allow endometriosis to be brushed off as “women’s problems” – it is a serious condition affecting a huge number of women. Staying educated and finding an endometriosis specialist like the Kaldas Center can shorten diagnosis time.
The Kaldas Center is Your Endometriosis Specialist
If you have any of the symptoms listed above but have struggled to find answers from doctors, don’t give up.
Know that endometriosis can be very difficult to diagnose, but our team is prepared to help you. Endometriosis treatment is not one-size-fits-all and we are here to personalize treatment. You do not need a referral to schedule an appointment at the Kaldas Center. As board-certified OB-GYNs, we’re seen by insurance companies as a primary care provider. Get the help you deserve, from the right provider, close to home.
Call the Kaldas Center at 920-886-2299.