Endometriosis and Menopause: Changing with the Change

WV Marshall

Since the hormones that trigger endometriosis drop after menopause, it seems reasonable to assume that women would experience fewer symptoms once the onset of menopause occurs.

You might want to hold off on that assumption, says the website, RedHotMamas.

Endometriosis Defined

Endometriosis is a painful disorder in which tissue similar to the tissue that normally lines the inside of the uterus — the endometrium — grows outside the uterus, usually the ovaries, fallopian tubes and the tissue lining the pelvis.

Any woman who has menstrual periods can get endometriosis.

Endometriosis occurs most often between the ages of 25 and 40, but it also can occur in younger women.

This condition may also persist after menopause in some women, but such an occurrence is very uncommon.

Given the seriousness of endometriosis, it is vital to consult with a healthcare provider to plot a course of treatment.

First, a primer:

Endometriosis is a condition where cells from the uterine lining grow outside of the uterus.

Endometrial tissue behaves the same in or out of the uterus, meaning it swells, sheds and bleeds.

While the uterine lining escapes through the vaginal opening during the menstrual cycle, endometriosis tissue doesn’t because it doesn’t have such a path.

Because it is trapped, the tissue can become inflamed and may cause severe menstrual pain.

Pelvic Cysts

Pelvic cysts can form between organs or on the ureter or the bowel, causing pelvic pain and possibly creating difficulty going to the bathroom or discomfort during sex.

After menopause, the active lesions of endometriosis go away – but the pain can continue because of scarring or the adhesions that formed over years of endometriosis.

These may need to be surgically removed by a surgeon.

HRT and Endometriosis

Some women opt for hormone replacement therapies (HRT) to counter the symptoms of menopause, Endometriosis News reported.

However, women using HRT risk reigniting their endometriosis as hormones such as estrogen and progesterone are put back into the body.

Perimenopause and Endometriosis

While in the perimenopausal period, or the time when periods taper off, women can still experience symptoms like cramps and bleeding, which signal that menstrual cycles aren’t done yet, the website healthline reported.

Once a healthcare provider has said periods have stopped and menopause has begun, cramps could be symptomatic of different conditions, from endometriosis to uterine fibroids, or from a stomach virus to food poisoning.

Don’t ignore cramps after menopause. Make an appointment with your healthcare provider to determine what’s causing the cramps.

When cramps are caused by endometriosis, a provider may recommend a medicine for relief.

Surgery can also be recommended to remove endometrial tissue that’s causing the pain.

mySysters is an app for women in perimenopause and menopause. Good Housekeeping and Woman’s Day named mySysters the Best App for Women in Perimenopause and a Must Have App for Women.