It’s estimated that more than 11% of women 15-44 have endometriosis. This common gynecological condition causes pelvic pain and abnormal bleeding and often goes undiagnosed for years. Eduardo Valdes, MD, and Brittany Berre, NP, at Collaborative Women’s Care in Miami, Florida, specialize in diagnosing and treating endometriosis. Call the office today or schedule your evaluation online.
Endometriosis is a gynecological condition in which endometrial-like tissue grows outside your uterus. Every month, your uterus grows an endometrial lining to prepare it for pregnancy. When you don’t get pregnant, your body gets rid of the endometrial lining through menstruation.
Women with endometriosis have this endometrial-like tissue growing on their ovaries, fallopian tubes, outer uterus, and other places in their lower abdomens. Like the tissue that lines the uterus, this displaced tissue grows and sheds with your menstrual cycle.
The bleeding that occurs inside your lower abdomen causes inflammation, swelling, and scarring.
Endometriosis symptoms vary from one woman to the next. However, most women with this common gynecological condition suffer excruciating cramps during their periods.
Endometriosis can also cause pain during sex, urination, and bowel movements. It’s also a common cause of chronic pelvic pain.
You can also suffer abnormal bleeding with endometriosis. This can include longer-than-normal periods, heavy periods, and bleeding between periods. You might also have abdominal pain, diarrhea, or constipation.
Many women with endometriosis also struggle with fertility problems.
No single test can diagnose endometriosis. And your provider at Collaborative Women’s Care might order tests to rule out conditions other than endometriosis.
During your visit, your provider reviews your symptoms, gynecological history, menstrual cycle pattern, and family health history. They complete physical and pelvic exams.
Testing can include:
After ruling out other health problems, your Collaborative Women’s Care provider might do a laparoscopy to confirm you have endometriosis.
During this minimally invasive surgery, your provider makes a small incision in your lower abdomen. They use a surgical camera and special surgical tools inserted through a small tube to take a sample of any abnormal tissue found.
Endometriosis can’t be cured, so treatment focuses on managing your symptoms.
If you aren’t trying to get pregnant, your Collaborative Women’s Care provider prescribes hormonal birth control to reduce the number of periods you have. This should ease or eliminate much of your pain.
If you’re trying to get pregnant, they’ll probably prescribe gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonist. This medication stops your period, temporarily putting you into menopause. When you stop taking the medication, your period will return, and you might have an easier time getting pregnant.
For women suffering severe pain, the women’s specialist at Collaborative Women’s Care could recommend surgery to remove as many of the endometrial growths as possible.
If you suffer from chronic pelvic pain, abnormal bleeding, or infertility and don’t know why it could be caused by endometriosis. Call Collaborative Women’s Care today or schedule an appointment online.