During their childbearing years, women are at increased risk of developing a painful condition known as endometriosis. Unfortunately, pain often isn’t the only complication. It can also interfere with a woman’s ability to get pregnant.
The good news is that treating the condition can reduce symptoms and improve the chances for pregnancy.
At The Guirguis Obstetrics & Gynecology Group, our skilled OB/GYNs have many years of experience diagnosing and treating endometriosis. In this blog, we explain what endometriosis is and the treatment options that are available.
Endometriosis is a condition in which the tissue that normally lines the uterus grows outside of the uterus. The tissue continues to act as if it was in the uterus, thickening and breaking down each month during the menstrual cycle.
The problem is the tissue has nowhere to go. It becomes trapped in the body, causing pelvic pain, painful sex, and severe menstrual cramps.
This misplaced tissue can grow in a number of areas, including on your other reproductive organs, such as your fallopian tubes and ovaries. This can cause complications with becoming pregnant and lead to infertility. Endometrial tissue can also grow on your bowel, bladder, and rectum and cause painful or difficult bowel movements.
You should schedule a diagnostic evaluation with our team at The Guirguis Obstetrics & Gynecology Group if you experience persistent symptoms that could relate to endometriosis, such as:
Pain with bowel movements or urination during your period can also be a warning sign of the condition. If you can’t get pregnant after a year of having unprotected sex, you should also be checked for endometriosis.
Our providers offer pelvic exams, ultrasound imaging, and other diagnostic testing that can evaluate your reproductive system and identify excess tissue growth. Once we reach a diagnosis, we can customize a treatment plan to address infertility and ease your symptoms.
While there’s no cure for endometriosis, there are effective treatments we can use to manage your condition. Treatment options available at The Guirguis Obstetrics & Gynecology Group include:
Low-dose, hormonal birth control pills can regulate your menstrual cycle and stop heavy periods. You can also manage pelvic pain and menstrual cramps with over-the-counter pain relievers and anti-inflammatory medications.
If you’re planning to get pregnant at some point, and birth control pills aren’t an option, we can recommend a gonadotropin-releasing agonist, which can control the growth of endometrial tissue by putting you in a temporary menopause.
For severe endometriosis that’s not treatable with medications, our providers may recommend surgery. We use minimally invasive, laparoscopic surgical techniques to remove endometrial tissue that’s growing outside of your uterus. Our surgeons are highly skilled in the da Vinci® robotic surgery system.
The removal of this tissue can clear the path for sperm to travel to the egg for fertilization. Many women can achieve a healthy pregnancy after surgery.
It’s important to note that while these strategies are effective at treating current symptoms, endometriosis can come back. Our providers will continue to work with you to manage any issues the condition causes over time.
If you have symptoms of endometriosis or are struggling with infertility, we can help. To learn more, book an appointment online or over the phone with The Guirguis Obstetrics & Gynecology Group today.