Endometriosis is a relatively common disorder that can be challenging to diagnose and treat. For women in and around Gainesville, Georgia, Kent Miller Gynecology is a great source of information about endometriosis as well as diagnostic and treatment services. If you have concerns about troubling symptoms and are ready to find answers, book a visit today, online or by phone.
Endometriosis Q & A
What is endometriosis?
To understand endometriosis, it helps to consider how the lining of your uterus works. This organ is lined with a layer of tissue called endometrium. As you move through your menstrual cycle, that tissue thickens in preparation to receive and support a fertilized egg.
If fertilization doesn’t occur, your endometrium begins to break down and bleed, which creates your period. The cycle then begins anew, a process that continues until a pregnancy, medical issue, or the end of your reproductive life.
Endometriosis occurs when endometrial tissue develops outside of your uterus. That abnormally situated tissue can grow on your ovaries, fallopian tubes, or in other tissues located in your pelvis. Less commonly, endometrial tissue is found in areas of the body beyond your pelvic region.
As you move through your menstrual cycle, all of your endometrial tissue thickens, degrades, and bleeds. The problem with endometriosis is that endometrium located outside of the uterus has no way to exit the body, causing inflammation and pain.
What are the symptoms of endometriosis?
Women have a variety of experiences with endometriosis. For some, symptoms are mild and manageable. Others, however, find their symptoms incredibly painful and disruptive to their normal daily routine.
Some of the symptoms associated with endometriosis include:
- Abnormal or heavy bleeding
- Pain during periods, urination, or bowel movements
- Painful sex
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Nausea or bloating
As you can see, these symptoms are common among many other gynecologic issues, which is part of what makes it so difficult to reach an accurate diagnosis of endometriosis.
How is endometriosis treated?
Your treatment path is created to suit your specific set of needs. Medication may play a role in managing pain, slowing or stopping your period, and preventing endometrial adhesions.
Conservative surgery is another treatment approach and a good option for women who have severe symptoms but want to preserve the ability to get pregnant later in life. Most procedures can be performed laparoscopically, requiring just a few small incisions.
In some cases, a hysterectomy is the best treatment option, although the team at Kent Miller Gynecology pursues all other less invasive treatments before recommending the surgical removal of your uterus and/or ovaries.
If you’d like to be screened for endometriosis or are looking for a new treatment path, book an appointment today, online or by phone.