Endometriosis is a condition that affects women. It can cause pain in the lower part of the belly and trouble getting pregnant.
Endometriosis occurs when tissue normally found in a woman’s uterus grows outside of the uterus. This tissue, which does not belong outside the uterus, can then break down, bleed, and cause symptoms.
Symptoms of endometriosis depend on the organ that is affected. Some women with endometriosis have no symptoms. But most have pain in the lower part of the belly that can occur:
- Before or during monthly periods
- Between monthly periods
- During or after sex
- When urinating or having a bowel movement (often during monthly periods)
- Other symptoms of endometriosis can include:
- Trouble getting pregnant
- Growths on the ovaries that a doctor can feel during an exam
All of these symptoms can also be caused by conditions that are not endometriosis. But if you have any of these symptoms, tell your doctor or nurse.
While there is no test to diagnose endometriosis, a diagnosis can be accurately based on the patients’ symptoms and examination. The only way to know for sure if a patient has endometriosis is to do surgery and look for endometriosis tissue outside the uterus. However, to treat endometriosis, we don’t need a confirmed diagnosis and we can go only based on history and a physical exam.
During your visit, our medical experts will explain different treatment options. The right treatment for each individual depends on symptoms and on whether one would like to be able to get pregnant in the future.
Medical treatment of endometriosis include:
- Pain medicines
- Birth control medicines: Certain birth control medicines can help reduce pain symptoms. This treatment is not appropriate for women who are trying to get pregnant.
- Hormones that stop monthly periods: We don’t recommend using Lupron for more than three-to-six months because it can have side effects. Also, this treatment is not appropriate for women who are trying to get pregnant.
Surgical treatment for endometriosis, include laparoscopy and hysterectomy.
Minimally invasive surgery (MIS) encompasses several techniques that allow surgeons to operate through small incisions or natural orifices. MIS includes laparoscopy, mini-laparoscopy, hysteroscopy, robot-assisted surgery, single port surgery and natural orifice techniques.
To learn more and to schedule an appointment with Dr. Shabnam Dadgar, contact Shady Grove GYN Care today.