Can Endometriosis Delay Your Period?

Published on 05/13/22

What is Endometriosis?

Endometriosis is a condition that causes the tissue lining inside of the uterus to grow outside of the uterus. It is considered a chronic condition that affects 1 out of 10 people all across the world. Women with endometriosis have been known to experience menstrual pain when the tissue growing outside of the uterus becomes trapped and sticks to the ovaries. This causes cysts called endometriomas. 

This pain normally starts as normal period cramps and can be accompanied by lower back pain. Since endometriosis and its symptoms heavily revolves around the menstrual cycle, can it delay your period?

Endometriosis And Your Period

Endometriosis can be life altering, from pain to diagnosis to relief. If you’ve been diagnosed with endometriosis and wondering how it might affect your period, here’s what it might look like. 

Endometriosis has been known to affect the impact of the length of a woman’s menstrual cycle as well as how long it can last. Since there is more tissue to shed, this may mean her periods are heavier and may last longer. This may actually make their cycles shorter instead of delaying it. Meaning their menstruation begins sooner than every 28 days, including pain and bleeding during ovulation. This bleeding and spotting, especially during ovulation, is common for people living with endometriosis. All these symptoms can and will cause irregular periods.

Delayed or halted periods are not recognized as a symptom of endometriosis but a way to regulate the overall period irregularity and pain is with contraceptives. Contraception could also mean that you may not get periods altogether to help alleviate the pain.

Most women have some level of pain even leading up to their periods, not just during their cycle. These pains are likely to be more extreme and last longer during your cycle. This kind of sporadic pain could include but not be limited to pain in areas like the hips, legs, and lower back. 

If you think you might be dealing with endometriosis, and the pain feels debilitating enough that it interferes with your daily activities. You might want to consider calling to book an appointment with your healthcare provider for further guidance. 

Pain And Menstrual Fatigue

This level of pain with endometriosis might cause increased levels of menstrual fatigue. This may mean you need extra rest during your period. So rest up as much as possible!

Abnormal Periods and Endometriosis

Endometriosis may not delay your period but one of the fundamental symptoms of endometriosis is an abnormal period. What’s considered an abnormal period? It can include some of the following symptoms before or with the onset of your period:

  • Heavy periods
  • Nausea
  • Painful menstrual cramping, or dysmenorrhea, can’t be relieved with NSAIDs. 
  • Vomiting
  • Leg pain, or neuropathy
  • Headaches or migraines
  • Gassiness
  • Chronic pelvic pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue
  • Painful bowel movements
  • Painful urination

 

If you experience any of these symptoms consistently, talk to your healthcare provider. To be clear, painful periods don’t necessarily mean abnormal periods. Abnormal periods can include more than just painful cramping. On the contrary, it’s possible for an individual to experience an abnormal period and endometriosis without it being too painful while experiencing one of the symptoms above.

Treatment Options 

Finding the right type of treatment for abnormal periods because of endometriosis is complex. Treatments can vary per person. However, there are a few ways to help manage difficult symptoms:

Hormonal therapy: birth control is often used as a way to seek relief and manage hormone fluctuation. Because endometriosis is a disease of menstruation driven by the fluctuation of sex hormones, estrogen and progesterone. 

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory: while pain from endometriosis is not entirely understood, it has been defined as a “disease of inflammation”. NSAIDs can help relieve pain by reducing the inflammation, even during the menstrual cycle and patients have been able to find some relief for the pain.

Holistic approach: an approach to help with pain or bowel symptoms. This may not be a solution to the problem but diet modifications along with other alternative therapies like acupuncture can help ease the pain. 

Take note that these treatments are not the cure to the disease. The only way to remove endometriosis is with excision surgery. This is a surgery that can remove endometriosis in the body. Although there are treatments for the disease, each treatment affects individuals differently. The best solution for women is to include a complete approach to wellness. 

Talk Openly About Your Period

One of the best ways to diagnose endometriosis is to avoid the taboo of talking openly about your periods. It’s often that many individuals with painful periods don’t talk about the pain they’re experiencing because it’s personal. It can feel embarrassing to discuss unabashedly. 

These topics are important to discuss because the majority of women are unaware of how abnormal those symptoms are. There may also be times when patients do have the courage to say something to their loved ones (and certain doctors) who may tell them their pain is normal when it’s a clue to much more.

This can be because on average it takes 7-10 years from the beginning of the symptoms for there to be an accurate diagnosis of endometriosis. Unfortunately, this timeline has become the norm because of the lack of knowledge amongst the public – and even in the medical community. Don’t spend years in silence!

Without open discussion about menstruation and menstruation symptoms, proper endometriosis diagnosis and treatment becomes hindered. If your healthcare provider does not listen to your symptoms or discounts them, seek the counsel of an endometriosis specialist. 

Other Symptoms Of Endometriosis

Additionally one of the major symptoms of endometriosis often includes infertility. This is not a painful or even noticeable symptom (until that time comes) but it is very common to result in fertility issues. Endometriosis is also often confused with Irritable Bowel Syndrome, or IBS, which also includes similar symptoms like bloating, abdominal pain, cramping and constipation. Knowing the difference between the two is crucial to determining your diagnosis. 

With endometriosis, the level of pain doesn’t actually indicate the severity of the condition. Understanding your level can be determined by your healthcare provider. Everyone experiences endometriosis and symptoms differently.

Our Doctors at Rosh Maternal & Fetal Medicine in NYC are here for you!

The doctors at Rosh Maternal & Fetal Medicine are experts at determining the precise cause of your pain and initiating a customized treatment plan to alleviate the pain and correct the underlying cause. When you have sudden, severe pain, don’t wait to get medical help. Call their office in the Midtown East area of New York City, or go to your local emergency department.

These underlying health problems should be treated to prevent more serious problems from developing. You can count on the extensive experience of the doctors at Rosh Maternal & Fetal Medicine to identify the cause and effectively treat endometriosis. If you have any questions about your menstrual periods or pains, call their office in the Midtown East area of New York City, or schedule an appointment online.

Talk to our team by phone or book an appointment online to get started. Call one of our six convenient NYC locations or schedule a video consultation online today! They’ve helped thousands of women. Come visit your NYC OBGYN.