The right diagnosis and treatment can address the pain and infertility of endometriosis
At least 11% of US women of reproductive age, or 6.5 million, have a condition called endometriosis. This common health problem occurs when the tissue that normally lines the inside of the uterus (womb) grows outside of it. These so-called endometrial implants can cause problems that range from pain to female infertility.
Thankfully, different treatment options can help manage the symptoms and help improve any resulting fertility issues. Our Las Vegas fertility specialists explain more about this condition, including how to diagnose and treat it.
What is endometriosis and how do doctors diagnose it?
This condition, which some people call “endo,” affects women of reproductive age. However, it tends to be more common in women in their 30s and 40s.
The endometrial implants associated with this health issue often grow on the ovaries, fallopian tubes, outer surface of the uterus and tissues surrounding the uterus. However, the implants can also form on other pelvic structures, including the bowel, bladder, cervix and vagina.
When a woman with endo has her period each month, her endometrial implants also bleed. Because they cannot escape the body with the menstrual blood, they can cause painful cramps. In addition to cramping, it’s common to experience other symptoms with this condition.
- Chronic lower back and pelvic pain
- Deep pain during or after sex
- Intestinal pain and discomfort when using the bathroom
- Spotting or bleeding between periods
- Digestive issues, including bloating, constipation, diarrhea and nausea
It is important to note that not all women experience pain with this health issue. In fact, some women with a severe diagnosis experience no pain at all, while other patients with a less-severe diagnosis can have debilitating pain.
If you visit our Las Vegas fertility specialists with symptoms of endometriosis, you may undergo a pelvic exam or a transvaginal ultrasound to help diagnose the condition. However, a minimally invasive procedure called a laparoscopy is the only definitive way to diagnose the condition.
What are the treatment options for this condition?
While there is no cure for endometriosis, treatments can help address the symptoms and problems that the condition causes. Your treatment plan will vary depending on whether you’re trying to conceive right now.
If you’re not trying to conceive, hormonal birth control is a great option to address concerns like abnormal bleeding and pain. Over-the-counter pain medications like ibuprofen and naproxen can also help with pain if you have mild symptoms.
If you want to attempt pregnancy now, minimally invasive surgery can treat the problem by removing any troublesome endometrial implants. Your doctor may also recommend specific medication to address the problem.
If you would like to learn more about endometriosis diagnosis and treatment, please contact us. Our Las Vegas fertility specialists can work with you to develop a customized treatment plan to meet your unique needs and goals.