Endometriosis Q & A
What is endometriosis?
Endometriosis is a painful and debilitating women’s health condition in which uterine tissue grows outside the uterus. The lining of your uterus (endometrium) is made of specific kinds of cells and tissue. This tissue is unique, in that it breaks down and exits a healthy woman’s body on a monthly cycle (a menstrual period).
With endometriosis, this tissue migrates outside of the uterus and can invade the fallopian tubes, ovaries, and pelvic wall. The tissue continues to break down, but because it is not located in the uterus, your body cannot eliminate it. As a result, blood and tissue are trapped in the wrong place, which can cause significant inflammation, swelling, scarring, and pain.
What are the symptoms of endometriosis?
The symptoms of endometriosis are varied. Most of the time, endometriosis pain is associated with your period and worsens around that time — just before, during, and just after.
Some symptoms you may have with endometriosis are:
- Pelvic, abdominal, and back pain
- Severe cramping during menstruation
- Abnormal bleeding during your period
- Painful sexual intercourse
- Painful bowel movements
- Painful urination
- Inability to get pregnant
Ovarian cysts are also a result of endometriosis. The endometrial tissue migrating around an ovary causes cysts, which can be painful and require treatment.
How do you diagnose and treat endometriosis?
Dr. Martin has extensive experience in both the diagnosis and treatment of endometriosis. If he suspects you have this condition, he:
- Takes a thorough health history to get a picture of your symptoms, family history, and general condition of health
- Performs a pelvic exam to identify any abnormal cysts or scarring
- Orders an ultrasound to help him see the internal structures and identify cysts or abnormal growths
- Suggests a laparoscopy, a minimally invasive surgical procedure, if needed, that allows him to look at the tissue
Treatment for endometriosis usually takes one or a combination of these forms:
- Hormone therapy
- Endometrial ablation
What each of these treatments may look like for you is specific to where your endometriosis is located and how you respond to the other therapies. Dr. Martin works closely with you to determine the best, most individualized course of treatment.
If you are ready to treat your endometriosis, call or book your appointment online with Dr. Martin today.