What is endometriosis?
Endometriosis is a chronic immune and endocrine disease that can cause painful periods, infertility, and organ dysfunction.
What causes it?
No one knows exactly for sure. It’s likely a combination of genetic and environmental factors — with some influence from hormones and your immune system. Diet, lifestyle, and weight also play a role to varying degrees.
When should I see a specialist?
Many women see significant improvement with treatments. However, if your symptoms don’t improve with therapy, it might be a good time to see a specialist. But don’t worry – your doctor is there to make things easier and will help connect you to the best care for you.
Will it affect my ability to get pregnant?
It can affect your ability to get pregnant, but many women with endometriosis conceive both spontaneously and with assistance.
Does it affect my sex life?
This varies for each woman. Endometriosis can cause pain and difficulty, but sometimes there’s minimal pain and intercourse is not negatively affected.
What role does birth control play in endometriosis?
Birth control can help manage your symptoms. It’s been shown to make a very significant difference in reducing the pain and progression of endometriosis.
Will I need surgery or medications?
You’ll need surgery to definitively diagnose endometriosis. Surgery can also be used to treat it, but other medications are often very effective as well. Not all patients need medications to treat their disease, but they can help to tremendously reduce the progression of endometriosis. Pregnancy and breastfeeding are two good natural ways to suppress endometriosis progression.
Is there any way to prevent it?
Having a healthy diet, reducing toxic exposures, and minimizing sugars and processed foods can help. Because of genetic and environmental factors, nothing is 100 percent effective in preventing endometriosis – fortunately, there are treatments and therapies that can help if you do get it.
Does age play a factor in getting it?
Just about any age patient can develop endometriosis, although it’s most common from the ages of 25 to 45 years old.
If I get endometriosis, will I always have it?
You most likely will always have the disease or traces of the disease, but the symptoms of endometriosis can be minimized with medications, dietary modifications, and surgery. And of course, your doctor will be there to help you manage your symptoms every step of the way.
Read about one Atrium Health patient’s first-hand experience with endometriosis, and see how Atrium Health’s women’s care helped her minimize her symptoms.