Endometriosis is a condition where the tissue that normally lines your uterus begins to grow on the outside of the uterus. This lining, known as the endometrium, can develop on the tissue that lines your pelvis, on your ovaries, and your bowel.
Endometrial tissue that grows outside the uterus still functions like normal, thickening and breaking down during your monthly cycle. When you have your period, changes in your hormone levels can cause inflammation in this tissue, which results in persistent pain.
Endometriosis Q & A
What are the Symptoms of Endometriosis?
In addition to persistent pelvic pain, especially during your period, you may also experience issues like:
- Formation of scar tissue
You may also develop adhesions that eventually bind your pelvic organs together.
How is How is Endometriosis Diagnosed?
Because the common symptoms of endometriosis can resemble other those of other conditions, it’s important that you receive an accurate diagnosis of your pelvic pain as soon as possible.
Your Columbia Fertility Associates provider discusses your medical and family history to determine if endometriosis runs in your family. Your doctor also performs a pelvic exam to check for abnormalities in your pelvic organs, such as cysts or scar tissue.
To confirm an endometriosis diagnosis, you may also need to have an ultrasound that allows your doctor to get a closer look at your pelvic organs. If the ultrasound isn’t successful in determining the presence of endometriosis, you may need to undergo a minor surgical procedure, known as a laparoscopy.
Laparoscopic surgery also allows your physician the opportunity to take a sample of the excess tissue that they can examine under a microscope.
What Treatments are Available for Endometriosis?
There isn’t a cure for endometriosis, but your doctor at Columbia Fertility Associates can provide several treatment options to relieve your symptoms and prevent pain.
Treatment options for endometriosis may include medications and hormone therapy. If tissue growth is excessive, your physician may recommend surgery to remove the excess tissue growing outside of the uterus.
Women who have endometriosis often find symptom relief after reaching menopause.
To find out if endometriosis is causing your pelvic pain, schedule an appointment by calling the Columbia Fertility Associates office nearest you today.