It is NOT normal to have painful periods especially when that pain interferes with a woman’s normal daily function. 

Endometriosis is when endometrial tissues grow outside of the uterus.  It most often involves your ovaries, fallopian tubes, and pelvic tissues, but it can affect other areas such as the diaphragm, which is your primary breathing muscle. This can create severe pain with menstruation (periods), and when this cycle continues it can cause pain that is constant, even when a woman is not menstruating. Other symptoms of endometriosis include pain with intercourse, pain with bowel movements or urination, excessive bleeding, infertility, constipation, and fatigue.  More people need to be aware of this condition as it takes an average of 7 years to be diagnosed, and often this pain is disabling.  The cause of this condition remains unclear although most presume that hormonal dysregulation, or elevated estrogen, is a contributing factor.

The gold standard diagnosis is by laparoscopic exploration and the gold standard treatment is laparoscopic excision of the endometrial tissues, which should be proceeding by pelvic floor physiotherapy. Often with chronic pelvic pain the pelvic floor muscles become tight which then perpetuates the pain response.  A pelvic floor therapist will teach you how to manage your pain and they will help to relax and lengthen these muscles.  They will also give you the tools to be able to perform this yourself at home.   So, if you are experiencing painful periods then see your local pelvic health physiotherapist or your family doctor for proper referral to a specialist who can properly diagnose you.   

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About the Author:

Sherry Heenan
Registered Orthopaedic and Pelvic Health Physiotherapist

This article was written by Sherry, our Physiotherapist and Pelvic Health Specialist. Sherry is an exemplary physiotherapist who actively listens to her clients’ concerns and works with them to develop a treatment plan specific to their needs. To book an assessment with Sherry, call our Cobourg clinic TODAY at (905) 373-7045 or book online here.

 

 

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