As many as 1 out of every 10 women of reproductive age has endometriosis, an overgrowth of the uterine lining. At New England Women’s Healthcare, the team of exceptional OB/GYNs can help with diagnosis, management, and treatment of this tricky condition. Don’t tolerate disruptive, painful endometriosis symptoms. Call the office located in Woburn and Wilmington, Massachusetts, or book an appointment online.
Endometriosis is diagnosed when tissue from your uterus grows outside your womb on surrounding organs. This tissue, which sheds every month causing your monthly period, acts the same way when outside of the uterus. The misplaced tissue doesn’t have an easy exit from your body, however, so it causes inflammation and painful symptoms.
Endometriosis can form on surrounding reproductive organs, such as your fallopian tubes and ovaries, as well as on the outside of the uterus, the bladder, and the rectum.
The exact reason some women develop endometriosis isn’t understood. Some theories involve how blood flows during your menstrual cycle. In some women, the blood moves backward into the fallopian tubes and enters the pelvic cavity. Endometrial cells (that make up the lining of the uterus) may also have been displaced during a C-section or other abdominal or pelvic surgery.
Not all cases of endometriosis cause symptoms. When you do have them, you most often experience moderate to severe pelvic pain that can grow worse during your period. Other symptoms of endometriosis include:
Many of these symptoms are associated with other conditions. Schedule a diagnostic exam to find out if you have endometriosis or another issue.
If the team at New England Women’s Healthcare determines you have endometriosis, they’ll focus treatment on management. Endometriosis has no cure. Pain medication can help reduce discomfort, including over-the-counter and prescription as needed.
Many women benefit from hormone therapy, which eases or eliminates your menstrual cycle, thus reducing pain and inflammation from endometriosis. The doctors may also recommend specific drugs that block your natural hormone production, but these can bring on artificial menopause and related symptoms.
If you’re wanting to get pregnant, most hormone therapy isn’t a good long-term option. Minimally invasive surgery may be used to remove the endometrial tissue outside your womb, preserving the integrity of your reproductive organs. In severe cases, a hysterectomy may be required to fully treat endometriosis.
To learn more about your treatment options for endometriosis, call the office of New England Women’s Healthcare or book an appointment using the online tool.