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Don't Be Silent Anymore About Endometriosis

  • Paul E. Evans MD

Endometriosis is one of the most common health problems in women.

It is defined as uterine tissue that grows out side of the uterus. It is most commonly found on the ovaries, fallopian tubes, pelvic cavity, bladder, and bowel. It is estrogen dependent, so it usually affects reproductive age women. About 30% of patients are asymptomatic, however it can be found in up to 80% of women with chronic pelvic pain. 30% of women with endometriosis have less than normal fertility. Other symptoms include painful periods, heavy irregular periods, back pain, pelvic pain, painful intercourse, painful bowel movements, and/or painful urination.

There are some things that can raise your chances of having endometriosis: Never having children, having a period that last more than 7 days, short cycle intervals (27 days or less), and a family member with endometriosis (increases 10-fold in women with an affected immediate family member).

There are no definite ways to lower your chances of getting it, but since it is linked to estrogen levels you can exercise regularly, keep a low amount of body fat, and avoid large amounts of alcohol and caffeine to lower your estrogen levels. Medical treatment, such as, birth control pills, progesterone, GnRH (suppression of ovulation), can limit progression of the disease and decrease symptoms. 80% of women respond to medical management and have decreased pain.

The diagnosis of endometriosis requires laparoscopy with visualization and possible biopsy of the tissue. Laparoscopy is recommended for treatment if symptoms persist even after birth control pills or pain medication.

If you are concerned that you may have endometriosis call us today to set up a consultation with a doctor!