Merck Manuals Examines Three Signs that Pelvic Pain Could be Endometriosis

Monday, March 25, 2019 General News
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Physician spotlights challenging condition during National Endometriosis Awareness Month

KENILWORTH, N.J., March 25, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Women suffering from endometriosis often withstand many years of

pelvic pain before receiving an accurate diagnosis for their condition. The pain is usually indistinguishable from that caused by menstruation or urinary tract infections, and the condition can be difficult for physicians to diagnose without invasive testing.

Today, endometriosis affects between six and 10 percent of all women and three quarters of women with pelvic pain. Though the condition is not fatal, it can have serious consequences on quality of life and fertility. Greater awareness of the condition among women can lead to earlier diagnoses and more timely, targeted treatment.

During National Endometriosis Awareness Month, Dr. James Liu, MD, Professor and Chair in the Departments of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Reproductive Biology in the UH Cleveland Medical Center at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, highlights three signs of endometriosis in a new editorial on MerckManuals.com. 

1. If pain is worse just before, during, and after menstruation

Especially for women who develop endometriosis at a young age, it's often assumed the pain is a result of their normal menstrual cycle. In fact, endometriosis pain often overlaps with menstrual pain. Bleeding inside and outside the uterus occurs at the same time.

But endometriosis pain often extends beyond the time of a woman's menses. If a woman experiences pain before or after she experiences bleeding during her usual cycle, she should bring it up with her physician. Endometriosis can also cause pain during sexual intercourse and pain during bowel movements or urination, as well as the need to urinate more frequently. However, these types of pain are often caused by disorders other than endometriosis.

2. If antibiotics aren't effective

Doctors may first suspect a woman with endometriosis has a urinary tract infection or pelvic inflammatory disease. They'll prescribe antibiotics to clear up the infection and may order a culture of the urine or cervix. If the test results come back negative and antibiotics do not help, women – and their physicians – should consider endometriosis as a potential cause of their pain.

3. If a family member suffers from endometriosis

Women who have family members with endometriosis are more likely to have the disease. However, there's currently no genetic test to diagnosis endometriosis.

But for women suffering from pelvic pain, family history can be a useful clue. If a woman's mother, aunt, sister or cousin has endometriosis, she should tell her doctor in their initial conversations about her own pain.

Delays in endometriosis diagnosis can create real challenges for patients. Understanding and discussing these signs with a physician is a critical step in making sure endometriosis is considered as a potential cause of serious pelvic pain.

About The Merck Manuals and MSD Manuals

First published in 1899 as a small reference book for physicians and pharmacists, The Merck Manual grew in size and scope to become one of the world's most widely used comprehensive medical resources for professionals and consumers. As The Manual evolved, it continually expanded the reach and depth of its offerings to reflect the mission of providing the best medical information to a wide cross-section of users, including medical professionals and students, veterinarians and veterinary students, and consumers. In 2015, The Manuals kicked off Global Medical Knowledge 2020, a program to make the best current medical information accessible by up to three billion professionals and patients around the world by 2020. For access to thousands of medical topics with images, videos and a constantly expanding set of resources, visit MerckManuals.com or MSDManuals.com and connect with us on social media:

For Consumers in the U.S. and its territories: Twitter and Facebook For Professionals in the U.S. and its territories: Twitter and Facebook

About Merck

For more than a century, Merck, a leading global biopharmaceutical company known as MSD outside of the United States and Canada, has been inventing for life, bringing forward medicines and vaccines for many of the world's most challenging diseases. Through our prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies and animal health products, we work with customers and operate in more than 140 countries to deliver innovative health solutions. We also demonstrate our commitment to increasing access to health care through far-reaching policies, programs and partnerships. Today, Merck continues to be at the forefront of research to advance the prevention and treatment of diseases that threaten people and communities around the world - including cancer, cardio-metabolic diseases, emerging animal diseases, Alzheimer's disease and infectious diseases including HIV and Ebola. For more information, visit www.merck.com and connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn.

Cision View original content:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/merck-manuals-examines-three-signs-that-pelvic-pain-could-be-endometriosis-300817824.html

SOURCE MerckManuals.com



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