All you need to know about endometriosis and period pain

The endometrium is the tissue that lines the uterus. If a woman does not become pregnant, this tissue is normally shed each month during her period. Tissue that looks and functions like endometrial tissue implants outside the uterus leading to a condition called endometriosis. This misplaced tissue responds to the menstrual cycle’s hormonal changes each month. It accumulates, degrades, and bleeds. The blood, however, has nowhere to go. As a result, the surrounding tissue becomes inflamed or swollen. Scar tissue, prolonged discomfort, and heavy periods can also result.

The aetiology of endometriosis is unknown. Some of the tissue may back up through the fallopian tubes into the belly during a woman’s menstruation ( reverse menstruation). These cells can implant in the pelvis or go to other places in the body via the bloodstream or lymphatics.

During a regular menstrual cycle, the endometrium (the lining inside your uterus) grows and eventually sheds. This can cause minor period pain . In endometriosis causes the lining that develops and sheds outside the uterus causes minor bleeding inside the pelvis as it accumulates and degrades. This causes discomfort, irritation, oedema, and scarring.

Painful periods do not necessarily indicate endometriosis; they might also indicate a distinct disorder known as dysmenorrhea. Scar tissue, past infections, or a history of appendicitis can all cause pelvic discomfort. Pelvic discomfort can also be caused by irritable or inflammatory bowel syndrome.

Differentiating symptoms.

The most common symptom of endometriosis is pelvic discomfort, which is frequently accompanied with menstruation.  Although many women suffer cramps throughout their menstrual cycles, individuals who have endometriosis often report significantly more menstrual pain than usual and typically in the intermenstrual periods. Pain may also worsen with time.

Endometriosis is characterised by the following signs and symptoms:

  1. Periods of suffering (dysmenorrhea). Pelvic discomfort and cramps can start several days before and last several days after a menstrual cycle, and may be accompanied by lower back and stomach ache.
  2. Intercourse causes pain. Endometriosis frequently causes pain during or after sexual intercourse.
  3. Pain during urinating or bowel motions. These symptoms are most likely to occur during a menstrual cycle.
  4. You may have heavy menstrual cycles or bleeding between periods on occasion (intermenstrual bleeding).
  5. Infertility. Endometriosis is sometimes discovered in women seeking infertility therapy.
  6. Various symptoms and indications. Throughout your menstrual cycle, you may have tiredness, diarrhoea, constipation, bloating, or nausea.

Your pain level may not be an accurate predictor of the severity of your ailment. You might have moderate endometriosis with considerable pain or advanced endometriosis with little to no discomfort.

Endometriosis is frequently confused with other illnesses that cause pelvic discomfort, such as pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) or ovarian cysts. It is sometimes mistaken for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), a disorder that causes diarrhoea, constipation, and abdominal cramps. Endometriosis might be accompanied by IBS, complicating the diagnosis.