All About Endometriosis and A Helpful Quiz
What is Endometriosis?
Endometriosis is the growth of similar tissue to the endometrium or the tissue that lines the uterus, outside the uterus. Endometriosis is often found in other parts of the reproductive system, such as the back of the uterus, fallopian tubes, ovaries, and pelvis. Endometriosis is fairly common, affecting more than 11% of reproductive-age people with uteruses in America.
During your period, the endometrium is shed as menstrual blood. With endometriosis, however, it’s harder to shed the blood, which causes pain and swelling.
When patches of endometrium grow in other parts of the body, it can cause scar tissue formation and make other organs stick together, called adhesions. This can cause inflammation. Scar tissue on a fallopian tube can also lead to infertility.
What causes Endometriosis?
There is no known cause of endometriosis, but there are risk factors that may increase the chances of developing the condition, such as:
a family history of endometriosis
shorter monthly menstrual cycles
a period that lasts more than seven days
a uterine or fallopian tube defect
Do I Have Endometriosis Quiz & What are Endometriosis symptoms?
Here’s a quiz that can help determine if a person’s symptoms indicate endometriosis:
- Do you experience painful periods that interfere with your daily activities?
- Do you experience pain during sexual intercourse?
- Do you experience chronic pelvic pain, even when you are not menstruating?
- Have you been diagnosed with infertility or had trouble getting pregnant?
- Do you experience painful bowel movements or urination during your period?
- Do you experience heavy menstrual bleeding or irregular periods?
- Have you been diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or other gastrointestinal disorders?
- Have you been diagnosed with depression or anxiety?
- Do you have a family history of endometriosis?
- Have you had surgery in the past to remove endometriosis lesions?
For each question answered “yes”, give yourself 1 point. The higher the score, the greater the likelihood that your symptoms may indicate endometriosis.
- A score of 0-2 suggests a low likelihood of endometriosis.
- A score of 3-5 suggests a moderate likelihood of endometriosis.
- A score of 6 or higher suggests a high likelihood of endometriosis.
Note: This quiz is not a substitute for a medical diagnosis. If you suspect that you may have endometriosis, please call us today!
So to recap, you may have Endometriosis if you have any or all of the following symptoms:
- pain in the abdominal area and lower back, mainly before and during your period, but worse than typical menstrual cramps
- pain from penetrative sex
- spotting between periods
- excessive bleeding with periods
- diarrhea, constipation or nausea
Endometriosis may also be linked to other chronic health problems such as autoimmune diseases, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, allergies, and certain cancers.
How do I find out if I have Endometriosis?
If you have any of the above symptoms, talk with your doctor or obstetrician/gynecologist (OB/GYN), who has special training to identify endometriosis, which can often be mistaken for other problems.
To diagnose endometriosis, an OB/GYN uses tools such as ultrasound and pelvic exam to look for more associated symptoms. A doctor must look inside your abdomen to know for sure. Fortunately, there is a relatively easy way to do that, called laparoscopy, in which the doctor makes a small cut in your abdomen and inserts a small tube with a camera and a light to look inside for growths.
What is done for Endometriosis treatment?
Unfortunately, endometriosis has no known cure, but some growths can be removed surgically with laparoscopy. There are other treatments that can help reduce pain and help infertility, such as hormone therapy and pain management medications. Your doctor can help you decide which treatment option might be best for you. An early diagnosis may result in better management of the condition.
RELATED: Do I Need An Endometriosis Test?
Read more at:
- American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists: Pamphlet on endometriosis
- The National Women’s Health Information Center: Frequently Asked Questions about Endometriosis