Endometriosis (en-doe-me-tree-O-sis) is a disorder in which the endometrium, the tissue that lines the inside of your uterus, grows outside your uterus where it does not belong. Endometriosis most commonly grows in the area of your ovaries, bowel or the tissue lining your pelvic region. In rare cases, endometrial tissue may grow beyond your pelvic area. The displaced endometrial tissue continues to act as it normally would within the uterus. It will thicken, break down and bleed with each menstrual cycle. With no way to exit your body, this displaced tissue becomes trapped. Over time, the surrounding tissue can become irritated, develop scar tissue and adhesions.
Symptoms of Endometriosis
Some common signs and symptoms of endometriosis may include:
- Painful periods (dysmenorrhea).
- Pelvic pain and cramping may begin before and extend several days into your period and may include lower back and abdominal pain.
- Pain with intercourse. Pain during or after sex is common with endometriosis.
- Pain with bowel movements or urination. You’re most likely to experience these symptoms during your period.
- Excessive bleeding. You may experience occasional heavy periods (menorrhagia) or bleeding between periods (menometrorrhagia).
- Endometriosis is first diagnosed in some women who are seeking treatment for infertility.
- Other symptoms. You may also experience fatigue, diarrhea, constipation, bloating or nausea, especially during menstrual periods.
Treatments for Endometriosis
Endometriosis can cause severe pain and fertility problems, but effective treatments are available. Endometriosis can be treated with medications, surgery, or a combination of both. Medications range from pain relief drugs to hormonal treatments that suppress ovulation and menstruation. Surgery can be used to remove or burn the endometrioses. The most common surgery used is laparoscopy. Laparoscopy or Keyhole surgery may be offered initially to help make the diagnosis.
Treatments for endometriosis varies depending on whether you are treating pain, infertility, or both. You and your doctor will discuss the goal of treatment, and all of the available options for treatment which may include:
Keyhole surgery or Laparoscopy
For most women with endometriosis, the symptoms will settle once they go through menopause. Deciding whether or not to treat endometriosis is often a matter of balancing the risks of treatment against the effect of endometriosis on your quality of life. Creekside Center for Women will help you to make the best choice in treatment for endometriosis taking into account all the variables regarding you and your lifestyle.
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