Endometriosis is one of the main causes of pelvic pain in women. Endometriosis may have very few symptoms, but severe pelvic pain before, during and after a menstrual cycle is a telling sign. Endometriosis occurs when the tissue that makes up the uterine lining finds its way outside of the uterus. This endometrial tissue spreads and bleeds just as the tissue inside the uterus sloughs off and is eliminated through the menstrual cycle. The continued bleeding into the abdominal cavity can result in lesions and scar tissue that can create health problems in the future. For some women, the symptoms that appear are mild, while other women experience symptoms so severe it is hard for them to function.
Endometriosis is treated in many different ways. Most often it is treated with medications that reduce or stop the normal monthly menses allowing the body to heal the lesions or at least slow their progress. Laparoscopic surgery is another option that can make a definitive diagnosis and simultaneously treat endometriosis directly. The surgical management is most important for improving fertility. The disease, although treatable, is not curable until menopause is achieved, either naturally or surgically. Over the counter pain medications and anti-inflammatories can relieve much of the discomfort when endometriosis occurs, but to treat the problem, the doctor will have to take other action. Hormone therapy may regulate the amount of endometrial bleeding, but a hysterectomy and the removal of the uterus may be the only way to truly stop the condition from progressing. In most cases, doctors will treat the symptoms until a long-term solution can be decided upon.
The Lakeshore Women’s Specialists OB-GYN office offers a full range of in-office procedures including endometrial ablation, and labiaplasty. Essure® tubal sterilization procedures are also available. Laparoscopic procedures can be used to both identify and treat potential reproductive health problems. Ovarian cysts, endometriosis, fibroids, and ectopic pregnancies can be effectively diagnosed and treated using laparoscopic procedures. These procedures are performed in an outpatient setting and require one or more small incisions and can be performed in a relatively short period of time. There is rarely a need for overnight hospitalization and recovery is generally rapid. Doctors often use these types of procedures to eliminate the need for larger incisions that increase the risk of infection.
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