Endometriosis affects 10-15% of women of reproductive age, causing pelvic pain that’s often severe and can turn into a chronic pain condition. Beyond the hallmark symptom of pain, endometriosis is also a top cause of infertility. The team at Obstetricians & Gynecologists, PC in Grand Island and Hastings, Nebraska, has years of experience diagnosing endometriosis and creating individualized treatment plans that alleviate the pain. If you need relief from your symptoms, call the office nearest you or request an appointment online today.
Endometriosis develops when tissue normally found inside your uterus, called the endometrium, ends up growing outside the uterus.
There are several theories about how endometriosis develops. Many believe that a small amount of menstrual blood goes through the fallopian tubes and into your pelvic area.
Outside your uterus, endometrial cells in the blood attach to organs and keep growing. Endometrial tissue most often grows on your fallopian tubes and ovaries. However, patches of endometriosis can also grow on the outer uterine wall, bladder, and other organs.
As you go through your monthly cycles, the endometrium that lines your uterus thickens to prepare for a possible pregnancy. If an egg isn’t fertilized, the tissue sheds and leaves your body during your menstrual period.
Outside your uterus, the tissue does the same thing. When you have endometriosis, the patches thicken, shed, and bleed into your pelvic area. As a result, inflammation and scarring develop in the affected organs.
Endometriosis is known for causing pelvic pain. In addition to lower abdominal pain, you may also experience pain:
Though many conditions can cause pelvic pain, 71-87% of women with chronic pelvic pain have endometriosis.
Your doctor at Obstetricians & Gynecologists, PC reviews your symptoms and completes a pelvic exam. Your symptoms are usually enough to begin treatment for endometriosis. However, they may perform a transvaginal ultrasound, or less often, a minimally invasive laparoscopy.
During a laparoscopy, your doctor inserts a slender, tube-shaped scope through a small incision in your abdomen. A camera in the scope allows your doctor to see inside your abdomen and examine the patches of endometriosis. They can also take a biopsy if needed.
The team at Obstetricians & Gynecologists, PC can help treat your endometriosis with medications and surgery, depending on the severity of your condition. The first line of treatment includes pain-relieving medications and hormonal medications that slow the growth of endometriosis and stop new patches from forming.
If medications don’t help or endometriosis affects your ability to get pregnant, your doctor may recommend laparoscopic surgery to remove the existing patches. Women who have severe symptoms and don’t want to get pregnant in the future may consider surgery to remove the ovaries or uterus.
Get expert care for endometriosis by calling Obstetricians & Gynecologists, PC, or requesting an appointment online today.