What is endometriosis?
Endometriosis is a condition that affects many women. It is caused by endometrial tissue growing outside of your uterus, causing pain and other problems during menstruation. The tissue typically grows on a woman’s outer uterus, fallopian tubes, ovaries, or other abdominal organs.
Clumps of displaced endometrial tissue are called implants. Implants, like the endometrium lining the uterus, thicken during the menstruation cycle and shed via bleeding during menstruation. However, the blood has nowhere to go, which can cause pain and discomfort. They can also form scar tissue or cysts, which may make getting pregnant more difficult.
What are the symptoms of endometriosis?
Endometriosis mostly causes severe pain during menstruation. Pain typically occurs where your implants have grown. Pain may be in your abdomen, vagina, or lower back. Pain may be worst during ovulation, menstruation, or sexual intercourse. Endometriosis can also cause abnormal bleeding. This could be very heavy bleeding during menstruation, spotting or bleeding after sex, or spotting or bleeding throughout the month. Women with endometriosis may also experience infertility.Symptoms of endometriosis typically fade after menopause.
How is endometriosis diagnosed?
If you have any of the above symptoms, talk to your doctor. Endometriosis can be hard to diagnose. Your doctor can prescribe medication that may help. You may consider having an MRI for further clarification. The best way to confirm endometriosis is with laparoscopic surgery. During laparoscopic surgery, a doctor makes a small cut in your abdomen and inserts a small light. This allows the doctor to see implants or cysts. If found, the doctor can remove them during the surgery, which will help relieve symptoms.
What is the treatment for endometriosis?
Unfortunately, there is no cure for endometriosis. There are, however, some very effective treatments.
- The most common treatment is anti-inflammatories such as ibuprofen or naproxen.
- Women may also experience relief if they go on birth control. Birth control pills halt ovulation, which is when many women’s pain is the worst. They also control and decrease the cycle of endometrial cells growing and bleeding, causing less pain. Lastly, they have been found to shrink existing implants, which results in less bleeding and pain.
- Laparoscopy, as mentioned above, allows a doctor to remove any painful cysts or implants.
Dr. Morice specializes in women’s health, tubal reversal surgery, and obstetrics. If you suspect you have endometriosis or want to speak with a doctor, contact Dr. Morice and the Atchafalaya clinic at (985) 702-BABY(2229) or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to hearing from you!