March is Endometriosis Awareness Month. If you have endometriosis and you are ready to talk to your doctor about the condition and your options, then the best thing to do is ask the right questions. By getting answers to your questions you can approach your condition, and its treatment, in the best possible manner.
What is Endometriosis?
Each month, your body goes through a cycle. During that cycle, it prepares itself for having baby. That includes building up the uterine lining for implantation. For most women, the lining is built up and shed during their period each month as normal. For some women, the cells that build up normally within the uterus build up within the body cavity outside of the uterus. This is called endometriosis. The women who suffer deal with a number of problems like irregular bleeding, severe pain, and infertility.
Questions to Ask Your Doctor
You need to understand every aspect of your condition so that you know what to expect now and in the future. Here are some of the questions you should ask your doctor.
- What caused my endometriosis?
- Can endometriosis be cured?
- If women in my family have endometriosis, does this raise my chances of being diagnosed with it?
- Are there medications I may be taking that could aggravate or accelerate my condition?
- Are there things in my lifestyle that could be aggravating or accelerating my condition?
- What treatment options do I have?
- How successful are these treatments?
- What kinds of risks and side effects come along with each treatment option?
- Are there changes I can make in my lifestyle to better fend off endometriosis?
- Do I need to stop drinking alcohol or caffeinated beverages?
- Will my chosen treatment option be permanent or will endometriosis come back?
- How will you determine if my condition is truly endometriosis?
- Because I have endometriosis, am I infertile?
- Will treatments for the condition make me infertile?
When Surgery Is Needed
In many cases, your best treatment will be surgery. The tissue that has built up outside the uterus has no way to shed like the cells inside the uterus do. Because of this, it can cause physical pain and can even damage other organs. Your doctor will need to perform surgery in order to remove that tissue. This may be only a part of your treatment. Make sure you understand the surgical procedure completely before you go through with it. Ask about risk, complication, outcome, and recovery time when you speak with your doctor.
Endometriosis can cause a variety of different complications. If it is left to grow unchecked, it can lead to issues like permanent infertility and organ damage. Be sure to see your doctor if you think that you have endometriosis and then ask your doctor all of the questions you have. The questions above are a good place to start and you can always add your own personalized questions. By learning everything you can about endometriosis, you will better be able to face the condition you have and the treatment for it.