As many as 176 million women around the world have the condition known as endometriosis, or overgrowth of the uterine lining. If you have the painful and debilitating symptoms of this condition, the expert practitioners at Ob-Gyne Associates of Lake Forest, Ltd. are ready to help. Evaluation of symptoms, management, and sometimes minimally invasive surgery can relieve pain and irregular bleeding associated with the condition. If you live in the Lake Forest or Grayslake, Illinois, area and suspect you have endometriosis, call either office or schedule an appointment to have it treated right away.
Endometriosis is a condition in which the tissue that lines your uterus – the endometrium – grows outside your uterus.
It may appear on other reproductive organs, on the outside of the uterus, and even in the rectum or vaginal area. Abnormal growths cause inflammation, which results in pain and scar tissue development.
You also experience irregular bleeding as a result of endometriosis. The displaced tissue functions the same as your normal uterine tissue, so it thickens, degrades, and bleeds during your monthly cycle. This irregularly placed tissue doesn’t have an easy way to exit your body.
Endometriosis shares similar symptoms to many other gynecological problems. This is why a thorough exam by the specialists at Ob-Gyne Associates of Lake Forest, Ltd. is a must if you experience any of the following:
Infertility is also a symptom of endometriosis.
The diagnostic process usually begins with a pelvic exam. Occasionally, irregular endometrial tissue can be detected during palpation of the vagina and uterus.
Ultrasound can’t diagnose endometriosis, but it can determine if other problems – such as cysts or fibroids – are causing your symptoms.
The definitive way to diagnose endometriosis is through laparoscopy. During the procedure, an incredibly slim tube equipped with a light and camera is inserted through very small incisions in your abdomen.
This procedure gives the doctors a clear view of all your reproductive organs and also allows the collection of suspicious tissue for analysis.
Mild symptoms may be resolved with over-the-counter pain medications, including ibuprofen and naproxen sodium. Hormonal contraception that slows your estrogen production and eases the growth of endometrial tissue is another option.
Other treatments include gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists and antagonists. These medications block ovarian-stimulating hormones and prevent menstruation. A side effect of this treatment is temporary menopause.
For some women, surgery is the best treatment. The team at Ob-Gyne Associates of Lake Forest, Ltd. do their best to remove only endometrial tissue and leave your reproductive organs intact. If you hope to get pregnant in the future, this is the desired course of action.
In serious cases of endometriosis, a hysterectomy may be required to address symptoms – especially when more conservative treatments have failed.
If you’d like to learn more about endometriosis diagnostics and treatment plans, book a visit at Ob-Gyne Associates of Lake Forest, Ltd. online or over the phone.