Do you have heavy or irregular menstrual bleeding with severe cramping? This Q&A will give you a brief overview of endometriosis and will answer some of the most common questions we are asked here in the office. Let’s get started!

What is Endometriosis?

The uterus is lined by the endometrium with the top layer consisting of endometrial mucosa, which forms a membrane and secretes protective fluid, in endometriosis, endometrial mucosa is abnormally implanted in locations other than the uterus such as the ovaries.

Can I get Pregnant if I Have Endometriosis?

Approximately 30-40% of women with endometriosis will be subfertile, which does not mean they will never become pregnant, but that they might require the assistance of fertility methods to increase their chances conception.

What is this Caused by?

Some risk factors may include a mother or another family member with endometriosis, early age of menstruation onset, short time period between menstrual cycles, long duration of menstrual flow, heavy bleeding between menstrual cycles, delayed childbearing, defects in the uterus or fallopian tubes, and iron deficiency.

What Symptoms are Typically Seen with this Condition?

Painful and heavy menstrual cycle, pelvic/abdominal/back pain, pain with sexual intercourse, pain with bowel movements, bloating, nausea, vomiting, pains with urination, pains during exercise.

How is Endometriosis Diagnosed?

Initially, labs and ultrasounds may be ordered to determine cause of symptoms. A trial of combination oral contraceptive pills [OCPs] may be attempted. The definitive diagnosis is made by laparoscopy, which is an invasive procedure done at the hospital, but not always needed in every patient with endometriosis.

What are the Current Treatment Options Available?

Hormonal therapy with combination OCPs, progesterone agrats, or gonadotropin releasing hormone [GnRH] analogues may be first attempted. Orilissa is a medication used for pain during and in between menstrual cycles. Surgery might be indicated in some patients with endometriosis who are refractory to medical treatment. Some options include endometrial abortion, presacral neurectomy, uterine nerve ablation, or hysterectomy.

More questions? Contact us at 706-324-0471 or to schedule a visit.