Endometriosis

Women's Healthcare Group -  - Obstetrics

Women's Healthcare Group

Obstetrics & Gynecology located in York, PA

It’s estimated that one out of every 10 women has endometriosis, and it’s one of the three leading causes of infertility. But when it comes to infertility, endometriosis is a treatable cause. The experts at Women’s Healthcare Group in York, Pennsylvania, specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of endometriosis. For a consultation, call the office today or schedule an appointment online.

Endometriosis Q & A

What is Endometriosis?

Endometriosis is a painful gynecological condition in which the lining of your uterus, known as the endometrium, grows outside of your uterus. The endometriosis tissue most often occurs on the:

  • Peritoneum
  • Ovaries
  • Fallopian tubes
  • Space behind your uterus, known as the cul-de-sac
  • Outer space of your uterus, ureters, intestines, bladder, and rectum


Endometriosis is very common and occurs in nearly one out of every 10 women, and diagnosis most often occurs between the ages of 30 and 40.

What Problems Can Endometriosis Cause?

Endometriosis can cause pain, inflammation, scarring, and heavy menstrual bleeding. The endometrial tissue responds to the changes in your estrogen levels, growing and bleeding like your uterine tissue during your menstrual cycle. The endometrial growths cause the surrounding tissue to become irritated, swollen, and inflamed.

Additionally, the breakdown and bleeding of the endometrial growths lead to adhesions, or scarring, of the tissue that causes the organs to stick together. The bleeding and scarring can lead to severe abdominal pain.

The inflammation caused by the endometrial growths can also affect fertility by damaging the egg or sperm, the fallopian tubes, and in this way affect movement of the egg or sperm in the fallopian tubes. Nearly 40% of women who suffer from infertility have endometriosis.

What are the Symptoms of Endometriosis?

The most common complaint among women with endometriosis is severe chronic pelvic pain, especially before or during menstruation. Other common symptoms include:

  • Excessive menstrual bleeding
  • Pain during intercourse
  • Pain and cramping before or during a period
  • Discomfort when having a bowel movement


However, many women with endometriosis don’t have any symptoms at all.

How Do I Know if I Have Endometriosis?

Your specialist at Women’s Healthcare Group can diagnose your endometriosis after an examination, including a pelvic exam, and review of your symptoms.

However, the only way to confirm if you have endometriosis is for your specialist to conduct a laparoscopy, which is a minimally invasive procedure that allows your specialist to view your pelvic area through a surgical camera and take a biopsy of your tissue for testing. This step is not totally accurate since endometriosis can be deeper than the surface that can be seen. Most times, treatment is used if your symptoms are suspicious for endometriosis.

What is the Treatment for Endometriosis?

Treatment for your endometriosis depends on the severity of your symptoms and your future pregnancy plans. Your specialist at Women’s Healthcare Group may recommend:

  • Medication: Your specialist may recommend anti-inflammatories to help with pain control and hormonal medications, such as birth control pills, progestin-only medications, or gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists. These medications help balance your hormones and slow the growth of your endometrial tissue, however they don’t get rid of the tissue already present.
  • Surgery: Surgical options for endometriosis depend on your future pregnancy plans. If you’re planning for children, your specialist at Women’s Healthcare Group may recommend conservative surgery that removes the endometrial tissue from your pelvic area, while keeping your uterus and ovaries intact. However, this procedure doesn’t guarantee that the endometrial tissue won’t grow back.

 

If you don’t plan on having children or you still suffer from severe pain after treatment, then your specialist may suggest a hysterectomy, which is the removal of your uterus. This can include the removal of your ovaries, and is considered the “last resort.”

The pain caused by endometriosis can affect your quality of life, but treatment is available. Call Women’s Healthcare Group today, or request a consultation online.