Defining, Diagnosing and Treating Endometriosis
When a woman gets her period, it’s the result of the lining of her uterus – better known as the endometrium – breaking down and shedding blood. Endometriosis occurs when the pieces of this tissue abnormally implant outside of the uterus. These implants become irritated and inflamed by hormonal stimulation during the monthly cycle and result in pain.
Symptoms of Endometriosis
While some women do not show any signs of endometriosis at all, others experience symptoms that range from moderate to severe. The most common symptoms include pelvic pain, a more serious form of menstrual cramping, pain while having sexual intercourse, discomfort brought on by bowel movements, throbbing in the rectal area and an aching in the lower back (typically one or two days prior to the beginning of a new menstrual cycle). In addition, infertility can be a true indicator – with severe endometriosis, distortions of anatomy, like damaged and blocked ovaries or tube, can tamper with a woman’s ability to conceive.
Diagnosis of Endometriosis
If a woman is suffering from any endometriosis-like symptoms, she should make it a point to let one of our OB-GYN’s know. A routine pelvic examination will follow, which includes a closer examination of the rectum and vagina. She will be asked to describe her medical history, list any symptoms she is experiencing and give a brief account and description of her typical menstrual period cycle. These are all the best practices to further diagnose and pinpoint if a woman actually does have endometriosis.
Treatment for Endometriosis
The cure for endometriosis does not yet exist, but there are a variety of treatment options we can provide to lessen the amount of symptoms a woman has. Both birth control pills and anti-inflammatories can be prescribed to diminish any pain or swelling, accompanied by a regular exercise routine. In more severe cases of endometriosis, surgery can also be a viable form of treatment – especially if the implants and cysts are affecting the surrounding organs. Usually performed using laparoscopy, a doctor can remove any of the excess endometrial implants or cysts or scar tissue.
Even though endometriosis is usually not dangerous, the condition can cause a variety of painful issues for a woman who experiences it. If you feel like you have, or are at currently at risk for, endometriosis, contact our office at 973-669-5711 to schedule an appointment today.