How to Talk to your Doctor About Endometriosis
Words - Morgan Ersery
illustrations - Alexandra Folino
Endometriosis is a condition in which tissue that is normally found inside the lining of your uterus grows outside of the uterus, in places such as the ovaries, fallopian tubes, the bowels, or other areas. It affects 1 in 10 womxn, usually between the ages of 18-49. Although some people do not experience any symptoms, the most common symptom experienced is pelvic pain, which can sometimes be felt before and during your menstrual cycle, during or after sex, or during ovulation. Other symptoms include heavy or irregular periods, as well as infertility. If you're experiencing any of the above symptoms and want to seek medical help, here are some tips to guide you.
Check in with your period
Since endometriosis stems from tissue in and around your uterus, it’s especially important that you pay close attention to your period to best help your doctor understand your symptoms. Start by asking yourself the following questions:
1. What was the date of your last period?
2. Are your periods regular or irregular?
3. Do you have bleeding or spotting between periods?
4. How often do you have to change your tampon or pad when your period is the heaviest?
Keep a pain diary
Describing your pain can help the gynecologist understand the type of pain you are experiencing and the cause of that pain. Pain is something that we do our best to forget about after it is gone, and as a result, we tend not to be very good at accurately remembering the frequency and severity of our pain.
Keeping a pain diary might be helpful. You can use an Endometriosis tracking app to monitor your pain. It is recommended that you keep a pain diary for at least 1 full month and ideally 3 months to provide a good record of your symptoms.