What is Endometriosis? By Dr. Chris Barton
Endometriosis is a medical disorder in which the tissue that normally lines the inside of the uterus implants outside the uterus. The endometriotic lesions then thicken and bleed with each menstrual cycle. The surrounding tissues can become inflamed and eventually develop scar tissue which can affect the reproductive organs. In addition, if endometriosis involves the ovaries, cysts may form.
The most common symptom of endometriosis is painful periods. However, it may also present as pain with urination, bowel movements, and intercourse. Unfortunately, infertility may be the first presenting symptom.
There are multiple treatment options for endometriosis. The best treatment depends on the individual and whether or not she desires to get pregnant in the near future. There are oral medications, injections, and even the Mirena IUD has been shown to improve the quality of life in patients with this medical disorder.
Minimally invasive, laparoscopic surgery continues to be the best method of diagnosing endometriosis. A laparoscopic procedure can also be used to remove the endometriotic lesions, and improve fertility rates.
Discovering this medical disorder early may help you avoid complications and unnecessary pain. It is important to talk to your doctor if you have any signs or symptoms that may be consistent with endometriosis.