Is your period pain endometriosis? Here are 4 ways to tell
By NCVC Staff | Published on Sep 28, 2023
Let’s face it, no woman who enjoys her periods, or looks forward to that time of the month. There’s just so much to deal with ranging from mood swings to painful cramps. But, women who have endometriosis report not being able to do anything for those few days when they’re menstruating and experiencing paralysing pain that stops them from getting out of bed.
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When a woman goes through her menstrual cycle, the lining inside her uterus — the endometrium — builds up and is then shed. The lining, however, grows outside the uterus, around the ovaries in an area called the posterior cul-de-sac for those who have endometriosis. As it builds up and breaks down, some amount of bleeding is caused inside the pelvis. This results in pain, inflammation, swelling and in some cases, scarring.
Also, read: Here’s how endometriosis can affect your chances of getting pregnant
If you think you have endometriosis, you are certainly not alone. There is an increasing population of women who are being diagnosed with this condition. But, it’s important to be aware to take action. That’s why we are here to help you with the symptoms of endometriosis:
1. The pain is taking over your daily life
So, period pain and cramping is an inevitable part of ‘that time of the month’. In most cases, however, the pain is bearable. But, if you experience debilitating pain that makes you sick or weak, then it’s better to get yourself checked. According to the NHS, 3 in 4 women experience strong period pain, but the pain shouldn’t be so intense that you can’t get up, have to skip a day at work, or are unable to go about your daily life. If that sounds like you, then it’s time to take action.
2. You suffer from perpetual aches
In case you suffer from endometriosis, you might feel the pain all over your body, even in your lower abdomen, hips and the back. Although endometriosis largely occurs in the pelvic area, it can even happen in the lungs and liver. It can vary from person to person, but if you experience pain in different areas of your body during your period, then there’s a cause for concern.
3. You experience pain throughout the month
Endometriosis pain is related to your hormonal cycle, but unfortunately, it’s not just limited to when you menstruate. It may happen the entire month, and that’s because endometriosis is likely to cause scar tissue that affects organs or nerves. That’s why doctors suggest it is important to keep a period diary to know when your pain is the strongest. Endometriosis is not the easiest ailment to diagnose. So, it is better to keep some research handy before you visit a doctor.
4. You have pain after sex
If endometriosis is on or even near the vagina, it can lead to painful sex. This can leave you more stressed than ever, making your symptoms worse. Some women don’t feel comfortable sharing this with their partners or doctors, but it is important to let both of them know. A medical practitioner might help you manage the pain and provide you with some tips to improve your sex life.
Ladies, it is important to be aware of your menstrual cycle and the symptoms you experience. More than anything, never underestimate the pain you go through.