Some women with endometriosis aren’t aware they have it because they don’t have symptoms, while others suffer through severe pain. Regardless of symptom severity, they’re all at a high risk for infertility. The doctors at Bayard Obstetrics & Gynecology have extensive experience providing individualized treatment that helps women overcome endometriosis. If you develop pelvic or menstrual pain, call one of the offices in Lower Manhattan, Brooklyn, or Flushing, New York, or book an appointment online.
The inside of your uterus is lined by a layer of tissue called the endometrium. This is the tissue that responds to hormonal changes throughout your monthly cycles. It thickens so that it’s ready to nurture a fertilized egg, then sheds, causing your menstrual period if you aren’t pregnant.
Endometriosis occurs when tissues similar to the endometrium begin to grow outside your uterus. Patches of endometriosis typically appear on your Fallopian tubes, ovaries, and the outer wall of your uterus. They less often grow on your bladder, intestines, and abdominal lining.
No matter where they grow, patches of endometriosis respond to hormones just like the uterine lining. As endometriosis breaks down at the end of your monthly cycle, it bleeds into the pelvic area, which causes inflammation and scarring.
Although many women don’t develop symptoms, endometriosis is known for causing pain. You may experience:
You may also have periods that are heavier than normal or bleed between periods. Some women develop nausea, diarrhea, and constipation.
Endometriosis is one of the top three causes of infertility; an estimated 40% of infertile women are diagnosed with endometriosis. Women who don’t develop painful symptoms often discover they have endometriosis when they have an infertility evaluation because they couldn’t get pregnant.
Your doctor at Bayard Obstetrics & Gynecology customizes your treatment based on the severity of your symptoms, the extent of your endometriosis, and whether you plan to become pregnant in the future.
The only way to diagnose endometriosis is with a minimally invasive laparoscopy, which allows your doctor to get a real-time, magnified view of your pelvic area.
Your treatment may include one of several hormone-based medications. Some medications make your periods lighter and shorter, which slows the growth of endometriosis and helps alleviate your pain. Your doctor may recommend hormones that help shrink the patches by stopping estrogen production.
Minimally invasive surgery to remove the existing patches provides some pain relief and improves your chances of getting pregnant. If your pain is severe and you don’t plan to have children, you may consider a hysterectomy.
When you have painful periods or pelvic pain, call Bayard Obstetrics & Gynecology, or book an appointment online.