A common condition that plagues women is called endometriosis, where tissue that normally lines the uterus (the endometrium) grows elsewhere and becomes stuck over time. It is often painful and causes many women to seek treatment from board-certified gynecologists, Dr. Cindy Basinski and Dr. Rupal Juran. In most cases, the ovaries, pelvic tissue, and bowels are involved but sometimes, the tissue moves beyond the pelvic region. The endometrial tissue thickens, breaks down, and bleeds with menstruation just as it would normally do, but since it’s trapped, it doesn’t leave the body. Endometriosis can be especially painful during a woman’s period.
Common symptoms are diarrhea, constipation, bloating, fatigue, painful periods, painful urination and/or bowel movements, painful intercourse, excessive bleeding, and infertility.
Causes of Endometriosis
While the exact cause of endometriosis is uncertain, possible factors are:
- Retrograde menstruation which is considered the most likely cause of endometriosis. In this condition, instead of menstrual blood with endometrial cells leaving the body, it flows back to the fallopian tubes and into the pelvic cavity. These cells then adhere to pelvic organs’ surfaces and walls, where they continue to thicken throughout the menstrual cycle.
- Endometrial cells are carried by the blood vessels or lymphatic system to different parts of the body.
- After certain surgeries such as C-sections or hysterectomies, endometrial cells can adhere to the actual surgical incision.
- With certain immune disorders, the body doesn’t realize that endometrial tissue is growing outside of the uterus and should be destroyed, but instead lets it continue to thicken and bleed.
There are a variety of treatment options possible for endometriosis. They commonly include:
- Pain medications such as over-the-counter drugs like Advil, Motrin, or Aleve.
- Hormone therapy like birth control pills, IUDs, or patches; drugs that lower levels of estrogen and prevent menstruation, which shrinks endometrial tissue; and injectable drugs that stop menstruation.
- Conservative surgery to remove endometriosis and preserve the ovaries and uterus.
- Hysterectomies for severe cases where the uterus, cervix, and ovaries need to be surgically removed.
Get More Info
Whether you have previously been diagnosed with endometriosis or suspect that you have it, you should contact our office to set up an appointment. We will assess you and find out more about your medical history and symptoms in order to correctly diagnose you. Once you have been diagnosed with endometriosis, we will present you with your treatment options to obtain the best results possible. We encourage you to contact our office as soon as possible.