Endometriosis is a medical condition that affects the uterus. The condition has a range of side effects, including heavy bleeding and pain. Women who suffer from it have several treatment options available. 

What Is Endometriosis? 

Endometriosis occurs when the tissue that is found inside your uterus starts to grow outside of the area. Once outside of the uterus, the tissue will continue to act as it would if it were still inside. During each menstrual cycle, the tissue will thicken and then break down. Normally, this tissue would be pushed out of the body during your cycle. However, the tissue growing outside the uterus will instead become trapped. This can lead to a host of symptoms, including constipation, infertility, and excessive bleeding.

How Is Endometriosis Treated?

One of the first treatment options your doctor might suggest is the use of pain medications. Over-the-counter and prescription pain medications can sometimes help alleviate the pelvic and back pain you feel. 

Hormone therapy is also a possible treatment. The hormones help with alleviating pain by slowing the growth of tissue outside of the uterus. Hormone therapy can be as simple as using birth control pills on a regular basis. 

If your doctor feels that surgery is necessary and you still plan to have children, you could undergo a surgical procedure to remove some of the overgrown tissue. The surgeon will attempt to remove as much as possible. The idea is to not disturb the uterus and ovaries so that reproduction is still possible. 

If you have experienced problems with conceiving due to having endometriosis, your doctor might recommend using assisted reproductive methods to help you conceive. This is often considered an option if the surgery to remove the affected tissue has proven ineffective. 

If the symptoms of the condition progress, your doctor might recommend a hysterectomy. A hysterectomy involves removing the cervix, uterus, and ovaries. Due to advances in medicine, hysterectomies are not as invasive as they once were. Your doctor could recommend a laparoscopic hysterectomy. This type of hysterectomy has a shorter recovery time than an abdominal hysterectomy. The average recovery time for a laparoscopic procedure is two weeks or less. By contrast, an abdominal hysterectomy takes up to six weeks from which to recover. 

The treatment that your doctor recommends depends largely on your symptoms and your preferences. The most important thing to remember is that you do have options and do not have to suffer painful menstrual cycles.