You may not know it, but March is Endometriosis Awareness Month. A primary reason that it’s become necessary to recognize the women who suffer from this common condition is that it’s so misunderstood. It’s difficult to diagnose, and endometriosis is considered an “invisible illness” because so often women will lack the support they need and feel they have no choice but to manage the symptoms on their own. Thankfully, due to the efforts of the medical community and several prominent activists, people are gaining a better understanding of this condition and what it entails. If you feel like you might have endometriosis and may require treatment from urgent medical centers in Suffolk County, NY, here are some things you should know.
What Is Endometriosis?
Endometriosis occurs when the uterine lining, known as the endometrium, grows outside your uterus. During your monthly cycle, the lining of your uterus will thicken in anticipation of a pregnancy. If a pregnancy isn’t forthcoming, the tissue breaks down, and menstruation will occur. With endometriosis, the same hormones that trigger the swelling of the uterine lining cause swelling outside the uterus as well. The displaced uterine tissue will adhere to internal organs, such as the bladder, intestines, and rectum, so when they swell, the pain can be particularly acute, even debilitating.
It wasn’t until recently that endometriosis was often thought to be purely mental. A woman’s complaints of extreme pain during periods would fall on the deaf ears of a largely male medical community. Even today, it can take years to accurately diagnose the condition. Besides severe pain, another common symptom is the presence of very heavy periods. While this might indicate endometriosis, it doesn’t always. Other causes of heavy periods are the presence of growths such as polyps, problems with your thyroid, and even cancer, so it’s important that you visit a family medical center for a proper diagnosis.
There’s No Cure
Unfortunately, there’s no cure for endometriosis. It can, however, be managed through hormones, pain medications, and even surgery under some extreme circumstances. There’s a common misconception that women with endometriosis can’t get pregnant. While the more serious the condition, the more difficulty a woman is likely to have with a pregnancy, most women with endometriosis are able to get pregnant.
What Causes Endometriosis?
Doctors don’t know what causes endometriosis. While there are some indications that the condition can be inherited, the belief that an abortion or douching can cause it is nothing more than urban legend.
If you think you might be suffering from endometriosis, visit Peconic Bay Medical Center in Suffolk County, NY. We’re committed to serving the needs of our community and will work with you to manage this painful condition. Call us today at (631) 548-6000.