It’s estimated that 11% of American women between the ages of 15 and 44 have endometriosis, which may not cause symptoms at all or can lead to intense pain pelvic and menstrual pain. With or without symptoms, endometriosis is a top cause of infertility. The exceptional physicians at The Ob-Gyn Center have helped many women overcome endometriosis, relieving their pain and helping to improve their fertility. If you develop symptoms, call the office in Las Vegas or book an appointment online.
The endometrium is a membrane that lines the inside of your uterus. It goes through the monthly cycle of thickening to support an embryo, then breaking down if you’re not pregnant, which in turn causes your menstrual period.
Endometriosis is a condition that occurs when tissues similar to the endometrium grow outside your uterus. Endometrial patches most often grow on your fallopian tubes, ovaries, and the outer wall of your uterus. In rare cases, they can appear on your bladder, intestines, and abdominal lining.
No matter where endometriosis develops, it continues to respond to your monthly hormone cycles. As the patches break down, they bleed into the pelvic cavity, causing inflammation and scarring of the affected tissues.
Endometriosis is known for causing one primary symptom: pain. Although many women don’t develop symptoms at first, you may experience:
You may also have abnormal bleeding, such as periods that are heavier than normal or bleeding between periods.
About 40% of infertile women have endometriosis, which makes it one of the top three causes of infertility. Women who don’t develop symptoms often learn they have endometriosis when they go in for an infertility evaluation.
Although your symptoms and a pelvic exam may indicate endometriosis, the only way to make a definite diagnosis is with a procedure called laparoscopy. During this minimally invasive procedure, your doctor at The Ob-Gyn Center makes one small incision, then inserts a long, narrow laparoscope through the incision.
The laparoscope contains lighting and a camera that sends magnified, high-definition images to a monitor. With this enhanced image, your doctor can see whether you have endometriosis.
Your treatment is then customized, depending on the severity of your symptoms, the extent of the endometrial patches, and whether you hope to get pregnant in the future. You may receive an oral or injectable medication to suppress endometriosis and help relieve your pain.
When your pain persists, or you want to improve your fertility, your doctor may recommend ablation, a surgical procedure to remove the patches of endometriosis. A hysterectomy is the last resort for women who are in pain and don’t want more children.
If you experience painful periods or pelvic pain, schedule an appointment for an exam. Call The Ob-Gyn Center or use online booking.