When your periods cause you to keel over in pain, you know that you are suffering more than most women. Some of your friends may barely notice their periods at all, but your periods are defined by heavy bleeding and the need to miss a day or two of work every month. While there are many reasons that your period could be affecting you and your lifestyle so much, you should talk to your OB-GYN about possibly being affected by endometriosis.

Never Heard Of Endometriosis?

The endometrium (tissue lining of your uterus) is supposed to shed every month when you don't become pregnant. This is of course what you know to be your "period." For some women, the endometrial tissue escapes outside of the uterus. When the tissue cells grow outside of the uterus, there is no way for your body to flush them out (because they weren't supposed to be there in the first place).

Endometriosis is often accompanied by symptoms like irritable bowels (diarrhea), pain during and after sex, and infertility. This is of course in addition to your excruciating and excessive pain.

What Your OB-GYN Needs To Know

While you await your doctor's appointment, try to list out as many symptoms as you can. Any information can help, even if you don't think it is menstrual-related. Here are some examples of helpful information you can share with your doctor:

  • How long your periods last, and when are your worst days?
  • Do you experience cramps the week before or after your period?
  • Do you experience any lower back pain, especially during your menstrual cycle?
  • What kind of medications and supplements do you take regularly?
  • What is your pain-relief regime during your periods?
  • At what age did your periods start to get worse? (Most women don't show the symptoms until their 30s or 40s, but endometriosis can affect teenagers, too.)

Effective Relief For You

Here are some ways you can counter the ugly symptoms of endometriosis:

  • Exercise is good for relieving cramps (though it may seem like the last thing you want to do), because it improves your body's blood flow and circulation.
  • Start taking IBUprofen a few days before your period is expected to begin (it will help keep the inflammation down in your body).
  • Avoid greasy foods (that includes pizza).
  • Increase your fiber intake with beans and whole grains, which could make your irritable bowels less irritable.

Your doctor, such as someone from Women's Healthcare of Illinois, may suggest you start taking birth control to limit the intensity and duration of your periods. You may also be prescribed over-the-counter pain medication to help you control your most uncomfortable days. Sometimes an outpatient surgical procedure is needed to remove painful scar tissue that is fusing your organs together.

Pregnancy is a short-term cure for endometriosis, but menopause is when your endometriosis will finally go away. That doesn't mean you should keep on "dealing" with your periods every month. Now you can make sense of why your periods are so bad, and actually seek help from a doctor that can improve your quality of life.