Endometriosis is a relatively common, painful reproductive health condition that affects more than 11% of women between the ages of 15-44. The women’s health experts at May-Grant Obstetrics & Gynecology diagnose and treat endometriosis at offices in Lancaster, Elizabethtown, Columbia, Ephrata, Intercourse, Willow Street, and Lebanon, Pennsylvania. If you have pelvic pain and abnormal periods, call May-Grant Obstetrics & Gynecology or schedule a consultation online today.
Endometriosis is a widespread women’s health issue that occurs when your endometrium — the tissue that lines your uterus each month — develops outside of your uterus. In most cases, the misplaced endometrium forms on your reproductive organs including your ovaries, fallopian tubes, the outside of your uterus, and the connective tissues and muscles that support your uterus. However, you can develop endometriosis anywhere in your body.
The most noticeable symptom of endometriosis is pain. The condition causes:
In addition to pain, endometriosis causes abnormal bleeding including heavy periods and spotting between periods. It can disrupt your digestive system, and if left untreated, lead to fertility problems.
Doctors and medical researchers haven’t identified a specific cause of endometriosis. It’s possible that retrograde menstrual flow sends tissue back through your fallopian tubes and into your pelvic area instead of out of your body.
Research also indicates that your hormones and immune system may contribute to the condition. Endometriosis may also be a genetic condition, as your risk is higher of having the disease if another member of your family has it.
If you’re living with symptoms of endometriosis, especially if your pain is interfering with your life, make an appointment with the team at May-Grant Obstetrics & Gynecology. The women’s health experts provide a comprehensive consultation, physical exam, and testing to diagnose endometriosis.
The team at May-Grant Obstetrics & Gynecology provide customized treatment plans for endometriosis that combine medicine, treatments, and lifestyle modifications to restore your health. For example, many women benefit from taking oral contraceptives. Alternatively, your doctor could provide an intrauterine device (IUD), which can reduce pain and heavy bleeding.
However, in severe cases, you may need surgery to remove the patches of the endometrium to relieve your symptoms. Hormonal treatment is usually prescribed after surgery to prevent the condition from recurring.
If you’re trying to get pregnant, make sure to talk to your doctor, and they can provide alternative treatments that won’t interfere with your fertility to relieve your symptoms.
If you’re concerned about endometriosis or are experiencing pelvic pain and heavy periods, call May-Grant Obstetrics & Gynecology or make an appointment online today.