The reproductive medicine experts at DFW Center for Fertility & IVF in Allen specialize in diagnosing and treating fertility issues like endometriosis. It occurs when endometrial tissue (from the uterine lining) is found outside the uterus, usually somewhere in the abdominal cavity. That tissue will respond to a menstrual cycle similar to what goes on in the uterus.
At the end of every cycle, any of that endometrial tissue growing outside the uterus can cause inflammation sand abdominal/pelvic scarring. This scarring can involve the tubes blocking them. Also, in some women, even if the tubes are spared, infertility may remain a problem as the endometriosis prescense alone may affect potential to become pregnant.
Causes and Symptoms
Although the cause of endometriosis isn’t always the same for each infertile patient, one common theory is that pieces of endometrium travel back through the fallopian tubes and settle into the space inside the pelvis. Tiny pieces of tissue may then lodge on surfaces of the reproductive organs. During menstruation, that tissue also responds, irritating the surrounding tissue, causing inflammation. Areas affected by endometriosis can affect peritoneum, fallopian tubes, ovaries, uterus, bladder, intestines, rectum and various surrounding tissues.
Actual symptoms of endometriosis may include:
- Abdominal cramps
- Back pain during menstruation
- Very painful menstrual cramps
- Painful bowel movements
- Painful urination, especially during menstruation
- Abnormal or heavy bleeding during periods
How Do You Know If You Have Endometriosis?
Endometriosis isn’t always the same in every woman. In fact, you may not even know you have it until you set up a doctor visit for some other type of medical checkup. Some women have reported having mild cramping that, typically, is not unusual to them. For some others, the pain and bleeding are so bad that they aren’t able to function normally.
Diagnosis begins with a pelvic exam, then usually a simple surgical procedure called a laproscopy where a small tissue sample is taken like a biopsy. Depending on the severity of your case, endometriosis may be treated with medication or surgical treatment options.
Treatment for endometriosis may include pain medication, anti-inflammatory drugs and hormone treatments. Hormone medications help slow the growth of endometrial tissue, stop new adhesions from forming, but do not eliminate affected tissue already there. With laparoscopic surgery, endometrial implants can be removed as the patient gets pain relief and improved fertility. For severe endometriosis, your OB/GYN doctor may recommend hysterectomy, with potential removal of uterus, ovaries or both in the most extreme cases.
If you suspect you are having any symptoms of endometriosis or are having difficulty becoming pregnant, contact us online or to schedule an appointment at DFW Center for Fertility & IVF center in Allen, TX.