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Violent pain and heavy bleeding during the period are a warning sign


Severe pain during menstruation can indicate endometriosis

If women experience severe pain and very heavy bleeding during their menstruation, this can be an indication of one of the two most common gynecological diseases - fibroids or endometriosis. Experts explain what can help those affected.

One of the most common gynecological diseases

Millions of women suffer very heavy bleeding every month during their menstrual period, mostly associated with severe pain. The symptoms can sometimes significantly reduce the performance and work ability as well as the quality of life of the women concerned. As the Hannover Medical School (MHH) explains in a message, the complaints can be one of the two most common gynecological diseases - fibroids or endometriosis.

Women of childbearing age affected

According to the experts, both diseases are hormone-dependent and affect women of childbearing age.

While an estimated 1.2 to 1.5 million women, i.e. 10 to 15 percent of women between the ages of 15 and 50, suffer from endometriosis in Germany, fibroids are far more common.

Experts believe that between 20 and 40 percent of women of childbearing age are affected by fibroids with increasing occurrence up to the menopause.

Common to both diseases is that, despite intensive research, the causes are still unknown.

"Severe pain before and during the menstrual period, during intercourse but also during urination and bowel movements, very heavy bleeding or an unfulfilled desire to have children can be an indication of endometriosis or fibroids and should in any case be clarified gynecologically," said Professor Dr. Peter Hillemanns, Director of the MHH Women's Clinic.

Many years can pass before a diagnosis is made

As stated in the MHH communication, endometriosis is considered an estrogen-dependent disease. "Splintered" uterine tissue of the uterus builds up and breaks down as in the uterus itself in the cycle.

This can result in bleeding and chronic irritation, sometimes combined with severe pain.

In addition, (blood-filled) ovarian cysts can occur, which are often the cause of unwanted childlessness.

Although endometriosis is one of the most common gynecological diseases, it still takes an average of six years to be diagnosed in Germany.

“That is why education is so important. When women with unclear pelvic complaints, an unfulfilled desire to have children or other diffuse complaints come to the clinic, resident gynecologists should always consider endometriosis, ”said Dr. Sudip Kundu, senior physician at the MHH women's clinic and head of the endometriosis center.

The earlier the diagnosis is made, the faster a suitable therapy can begin.

Severe menstrual pain

The typical symptoms of the disease include severe menstrual pain, chronic pelvic pain and pain during sexual intercourse.

If endometriosis occurs in the bladder or intestine, blood in the urine, blood in the stool or discomfort during urination are also less likely.

In many cases, painful cysts also form. Some women also experience non-specific complaints such as back pain, headache, dizziness and stomach problems.

Benign hormone-dependent muscle growth in the uterus

As explained in the MHH Communication, fibroids in the uterus (uterine fibroids) are benign hormone-dependent muscle growths in the uterus.

Affected women may experience symptoms such as heavy or prolonged bleeding during the monthly period, pain or a feeling of pressure in the lower abdomen or problems with intercourse, urination or bowel movements.

“Because the size, number and location of myoma nodes are so variable, many women are symptom-free. Only when fibroids cause symptoms do we discuss the possible therapy options with the women, ”says Professor Hillemanns.

Diseases are treatable

The good news: Both endometriosis and fibroids can be treated.

The women's clinic of the MHH will inform about causes, symptoms and treatment options at a joint event with the European Endometriosis League on September 12th.

According to the experts, after a thorough gynecological examination, the choice of therapy is made together with the patient.

According to the information, depending on the nature of the clinical picture and the patient's living conditions, this can be the use of medication, sometimes combined with surgery.

Positive experiences with alternative healing methods

In addition to conventional medical treatment methods, alternative healing methods are also conceivable for endometriosis, especially after an operation.

The main focus is on "reducing symptoms, reducing pain and restoring or strengthening the physical and psychological well-being of women", the Endometriosis Association Germany writes on its website.

According to the association, there are already positive experiences with acupuncture, traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), homeopathy and herbal medicine (phytotherapy).

The disease can also be positively influenced by a sensible change in diet, the reduction of stress and moderate exercise. (ad)

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