About 10% of women of childbearing age have endometriosis. This common gynecological condition causes pelvic pain and abnormal bleeding, but there are treatments available that can improve symptoms. At Bay Area Physicians for Women in Mobile, Alabama, the experienced and knowledgeable obstetrics and gynecology physicians specialize in diagnosing and treating endometriosis. Don’t ignore the symptoms; help is available. Call the office or book online today.
Endometriosis is a gynecological condition in which tissue similar to what grows inside the uterus — endometrial tissue — grows outside the uterus.
This abnormal tissue may grow on the outside wall of the uterus, the ovaries, or fallopian tubes, as well as the vagina, cervix, bowel, or bladder.
These growths act like the endometrial tissue that lines your uterus. During your menstrual cycle, the endometrium forms in anticipation of pregnancy. When you don’t get pregnant, your body sheds the lining through menstruation.
The displaced endometrial growths also grow and bleed, but have no way to exit the body. The displaced blood causes inflammation and scarring in the lower pelvic region.
Pelvic pain is the most common symptom women with endometriosis experience. The pain may include:
You may also have abnormal bleeding with endometriosis, such as spotting in between your periods. Endometriosis may also make it hard for you to get pregnant, causing infertility.
When you visit Bay Area Physicians for Women with symptoms of endometriosis, your OB/GYN does a complete history, physical, and pelvic exam to determine what types of tests you might need.
If they suspect endometriosis, they may perform imaging tests such as an ultrasound or MRI so they can look for abnormal growths in the pelvic area. The only way to diagnose endometriosis, however, is a laparoscopic procedure.
During this minimally invasive surgery, your OB/GYN uses a laparoscope to closely examine your reproductive organs and take samples of abnormal tissue, which they send out for testing.
Treatment for endometriosis varies and depends on your symptoms and your family planning goals. Bay Area Physicians for Women may treat your endometriosis with medication, surgery, or both.
Treatment options for endometriosis include:
Bay Area Physicians for Women may recommend GnRH if you’re trying to get pregnant. This medication temporarily stops ovulation, which reduces growth of the endometrial tissue. Your period returns after you stop the medication, so you may have an improved chance of conception.
If you have severe symptoms, your OB/GYN may recommend surgery to remove the growths.
To get help for your endometriosis, call Bay Area Physicians for Women or schedule an appointment online today.