In This Chapter
^ Figuring out the connection: Your menstrual cycle and endometriosis ^ Taking a closer look at the painful side of cycles ^ Making dysfunctional periods functional ^ Adjusting abnormal bleeding through surgery ^ Bidding a not-so-fond farewell to endometriosis: Menopause
■X our menstrual cycle is complex. Hormones and complicated feedback systems orchestrate your reproductive system's march each month toward a single goal — the production of a healthy egg that can grow in a properly prepared uterine cavity. In other words, all your body cares about each month is making sure you can get pregnant.
Endometriosis can disrupt the normal march of your menstrual cycle by interfering with your hormones, your egg's production and release, the fertilization of the egg, and the egg's ability to travel to the uterus. In addition, endometriosis can cause pain throughout your menstrual cycle, especially around your period.
This chapter looks more closely at your menstrual cycle and the ways endometriosis can mess it up. We uncover the relationship between your period and endometriosis by first looking at a normal period and then comparing it to a period with endometriosis.
We also tell you how to know whether your pain is endometriosis or another gynecologic problem. Next we discuss medical and surgical treatments to regulate your menstrual cycle and decrease pain and irregular bleeding. Finally, we take a brief look at menopause and its effect on endometriosis
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