Treatment for Endometriosis

Endometriosis is a condition that occurs in women when the inner uterus lining starts to grow outside of the uterus, often behind the uterus, on the bowels, or on the bladder. In most cases, endometriosis develops in the pelvic region, but it can grow anywhere in the body. The displaced tissue continues to thicken, break down, and bleed in accordance with a woman’s menstrual cycle. With no way to exit the body, the displaced tissue often becomes trapped and irritates any surrounding tissue. Endometriosis sufferers also frequently experience scarring of the uterus, and their pelvic tissue and organs may start to join with one other. Endometriosis is most commonly diagnosed among women in their 30s and 40s, but the onset of the condition typically starts during reproductive years. It’s also estimated that nearly 11% of American women ages 15-44 have this condition.

Our gynecologists in South Miami can help diagnose your symptoms as endometriosis and determine the best treatment for you.

What Are the Symptoms of Endometriosis?

The most common symptoms that women experience if they have endometriosis include pain, spotting in between periods, heavy periods, infertility, and digestive problems. Not all women experience symptoms, but pain is the most common symptom that can present itself as:

  • Painful menstrual cramps
  • Chronic pain the lower abdomen or intestines
  • Pain during or after sex
  • Painful bowel movements or pain when urinating during menstrual periods

Pain from endometriosis is caused by the benign growth of the endometrial lining. These growths bleed in the same way as your uterus during your period. Other problems can result such as your fallopian tubes being blocked, inflammation, and scar tissue around your uterus, intestines, or bladder.

How Is Endometriosis Diagnosed?

In addition to discussing your symptoms with your gynecologist, he or she may suggest another exam to diagnosis endometriosis. During a pelvic exam, the gynecologists at South Miami Women’s Health may be able to feel for large cysts or scars behind your uterus. Imaging tests in the form of an ultrasound or MRI may also be done to check for ovarian cysts.

Surgery is the only way to confirm that you have endometriosis. Your gynecologist may perform a laparoscopic procedure or biopsy to further evaluate the growth and staging of your endometriosis.

How Is Endometriosis Managed or Treated?

Since there is no cure for endometriosis, patients are advised to speak with their gynecologist about ongoing symptoms and which treatment methods have worked best to mitigate any of their pain. Such methods can include:

  • If you are not trying to get pregnant, hormonal birth control is usually the first step to help reduce pain and bleeding.
  • If you are trying to get pregnant other hormonal medications may treat endometriosis. When birth control isn’t an option, pain medications may also be suggested for your symptoms.
  • Surgery is typically recommended only when symptoms are very severe, other treatments haven’t worked, or you are having infertility problems. Surgery is performed near our South Miami office to help relieve your pain and improve your fertility. During surgery, the endometriosis growths are removed, which provides short term relief from pain. While having your ovaries removed makes your endometriosis less likely to return, hysterectomies are a “last resort” option for severe pain that doesn’t go away with treatment since it is a major surgery.

If you’re experiencing severe pain related to your period, are having problems with infertility, or suffer from heavy periods, schedule an appointment to talk with one of our gynecologists in South Miami about endometriosis. For treatment options that relieve the symptoms associated with endometriosis, call or make an appointment online with South Miami Women’s Health near Coral Gables, Coconut Grove, and Pinecrest, Florida.

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