Any woman who has menstrual periods can suffer from endometriosis, and the condition affects about 11% of American women. The expert staff at Physicians for Women El Paso diagnoses and treats endometriosis for women living in and around El Paso, Texas. Find relief from this painful condition that can also interfere with fertility by calling the office or booking an appointment online.
Endometriosis occurs when tissue from the lining of the uterus grows outside on surrounding organs where it doesn’t belong. Endometrial tissue may develop on the:
It usually strikes women in their 30s and 40s, but can show up at any time in menstruating women.
The most common symptoms of endometriosis are painful menstrual cramps, chronic low back or pelvic pain, and pain during or after sexual intercourse. Other symptoms include:
Endometriosis causes these symptoms because the endometrial lining that’s outside the womb still acts like the tissue inside the womb. It sheds and bleeds, but doesn’t have an easy route to leave the body.
Any woman can get endometriosis. Certain situations can make a woman more vulnerable, including:
Women who have a health problem that prevents menstrual blood from leaving the body during your normal period are also at greater risk.
Your symptoms may suggest endometriosis. In addition, how your symptoms react to certain medicines, including birth control and gonadotropin-releasing hormones, gives the team at Physicians for Women El Paso confirmation of the diagnosis. Endometriosis may also be identified during a pelvic exam or with imaging tests.
The only sure way to diagnose endometriosis, however, is through laparoscopy. In this minimally invasive surgery, your doctor looks inside you and takes a sampling of suspicious tissue to confirm you have endometriosis.
Endometriosis cannot be cured, but the symptoms can be managed and infertility overcome. If you’re not trying to get pregnant, hormonal birth control — such as the pill or an IUD — can reduce pain and bleeding.
If you do want to get pregnant, you may benefit from a gonadotropin-releasing hormone that temporarily blocks the hormones responsible for ovulation and your menstrual cycle. This can slow the growth of endometriosis and put you in temporary menopause, but when you stop taking the medication, you may have a better chance of getting pregnant.
In severe cases of endometriosis, laparoscopic surgery is performed to remove the offending tissue and reduce your symptoms.
For more information about endometriosis diagnosis and treatment, call Physicians for Women El Paso or book an appointment online.