There’s a huge difference between a “bad period” and endometriosis, as any woman with the condition would be able to tell you. Usually affecting women in their 30s and 40s, it turns out almost 1 in every 10 women of reproductive age lives with endometriosis. Let’s learn more about it and how progesterone creams may help.
What is endometriosis? What causes endometriosis?
As a woman, your uterus is lined with a layer of tissue called the endometrium. Your endometrium keeps the walls of your uterus from sticking together and also holds a fertilized egg so that it can eventually grow into a baby. Whenever a month goes by during which an egg has not been fertilized, your endometrium sheds. You know that as your monthly period.
Endometriosis is what happens when the endometrium grows outside the uterus. The tissue can end up covering other organs in your pelvis like your fallopian tubes, ovaries, and even your bladder and rectum.
This extreme overgrowth can cause complications with menstruation and fertility. In fact, many women discover their diagnosis when they start trying to have children.
What are signs and symptoms of endometriosis?
Pelvic pain around the time of menstruation is by far the most notable symptom of endometriosis. Other signs and symptoms include:
- Pain during sex or urination, depending on the extent of the overgrowth
- Heavy bleeding
Since menstruation is the source of many of these symptoms, women often find that their symptoms disappear after reaching menopause. Also, some women with endometriosis never have symptoms at all.
What are treatment options for endometriosis?
Unfortunately, there’s no cure for endometriosis. Treatment options often revolve around treating the painful symptoms by using pain-relievers like ibuprofen and naproxen or altering the frequency and severity of a period through birth control like hormonal IUDs.
Compounded solutions (e.g., progesterone creams)
Progesterone is a hormone that helps slow down the growth of the endometrium. Progesterone creams are applied topically (to the skin). When progesterone is applied to the skin, it is then absorbed through the skin and enters the bloodstream to work on the endometrium.
The knowledgeable pharmacists at The Compounding Center compound bio-identical progesterone creams. In other words, they have the same chemical structure as the progesterone your body makes. We can compound your progesterone cream in the dose that is optimal for you and your body.
Some women have used supplements like milk thistle or curcumin to help ease endometriosis pains. You should always talk to your doctor before using herbal supplements since they may interact with other medications you are taking.