Many women experience pain in their core area or pelvis that feels intense enough to warrant a visit to urgent care. Pain from endometriosis presents differently among the individuals who experience it, and it’s hard to pinpoint the cause without a professional examination.
At Westmed Family Healthcare, we encourage you to come in for an examination if you feel prolonged or worsening pain, so our experts can perform an examination and any necessary tests, such as ultrasound imaging or an MRI scan.
At our office in Westminster, Colorado, providers Clifton Etienne, MD, Michael Cavanagh, MD, and Flora Brewington, MD, routinely see people who are experiencing pain and in need of the proper diagnosis and care.
Endometriosis, a condition our experts often diagnose and treat, is a painful problem that involves the growth of uterine tissue outside your uterus. This is the same tissue that sheds off every month during your menstrual cycle. The tissue growing outside your uterus behaves in the same way, becoming inflamed and eventually sloughing off during your period.
When you visit us with pain, endometriosis might not be your first guess as the underlying cause. While its features vary, there are a few distinctions about endometriosis pain you should know.
Cyclic or constant
Many women describe endometriosis pain as feeling similar to intense period cramps. Similar to menstrual cramps, endometriosis pain occurs in cycles for many women with the condition. You feel the most intense pain from your condition around or before the time your period starts, and it lasts for several days after that.
For others, endometriosis causes ongoing pain that doesn’t intensify during any particular or predictable time period. If your pain is persistent, it can have a major impact on your day-to-day life and productivity.
Pain in places other than your pelvis
Your first assumption with a condition like endometriosis might be that the pain it causes is limited to your pelvic or abdominal area, but this isn’t the case. In fact, many people with endometriosis experience pain in unexpected areas too.
For this reason, you might initially visit with the assumption that the cause of your pain has nothing to do with your reproductive system at all.
Several areas where endometriosis pain commonly shows up are your:
- Lower back
- Rectum (specifically when you defecate)
In addition to any bodily pain you experience from endometriosis, research shows a relationship between endometriosis pain and migraine headaches. Experts speculate that this link may be due to the hormones involved in endometriosis.
Features and intensity
As we’ve previously covered, pain from endometriosis can vary. Not just in location and intensity, but also in how you describe your pain.
Some experience sharp and stabbing pain while others experience throbbing in areas affected by the condition, or more of a dull aching sensation. It’s also possible to feel like the organs and tissues inside your body are being tugged downward.
The more specifically you describe your pain, the easier it is for our experts to give you the tests needed to make or verify a diagnosis. The intensity of your pain may be deceiving as there isn’t necessarily a correlation between the severity of endometriosis and the intensity of your symptoms.
Don’t ignore the messages your body is trying to send you. Schedule an appointment over the phone or online at Westmed Family Healthcare today to see if your pain comes from endometriosis.