Endometriosis: What It Is and How It’s Treated

asian women laying in bed

Do you know what endometriosis is? This debilitating illness causes pelvic pain and painful periods for an estimated 176 million women around the world and 8.5 million in North America. Unfortunately, endometriosis also causes between 30-40 percent of women to experience infertility and is one of the top three causes of female infertility.

What is Endometriosis?
During every woman’s menstrual cycle, the endometrial lining that builds up in preparation for pregnancy is shed if pregnancy does not occur. That shedding (or “period”) typically occurs without problems. However, for some women, the fluids and tissue can implant in areas outside of the uterus. Once this occurs, the implants or nodules of tissue accumulate on nearby organs and cause scarring. Endometriosis results in symptoms that can include:

  • Painful periods
  • Chronic pelvic pain
  • Infertility
  • Pain during intercourse
  • Painful bowel movements
  • Rectal and urinary pain.

What Can I Do About It?
Endometriosis is one of the most common gynecological disorders in the United States. It can interfere with your daily living and quality of life. Screening may include ultrasounds or MRIs, however the only sure way to identify it is through surgery, which is typically performed via laparoscopy (minimally invasive with small incisions). A tissue sample is taken and examined under a microscope. Once you are diagnosed, treatments can include a variety of options, although at present there is no cure.

Treatment options include:

  • Pain medications
  • Hormone therapy
  • Varying degrees of surgery

In some cases, minimally invasive surgery is used to excise or remove nodules of tissue. At Denton Regional, our Women’s Center specializes in robotic surgery. This type of surgery is minimally invasive resulting in less pain, less scarring and a faster recovery period.

The physicians at Denton Regional Medical Center specialize in the latest women’s care and gynecologic treatment. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms we have listed above, please contact Denton Regional Medical Center here. For a physician referral, please call 1-855-477-DRMC.

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