Severe pelvic pain, particularly during menstrual periods, can be a sign of endometriosis. Endometriosis may also cause infertility, so you should seek expert diagnosis and care from Regina Hill, MD, in Westlake, Ohio, in the event you have symptoms of endometriosis. Call the practice to book an appointment today.
Endometriosis is a chronic and painful condition that occurs when the tissue that normally lines the inside of the uterus (the endometrium) begins growing outside of the uterus, on the uterine wall, the bowel, the ovaries or fallopian tubes, or elsewhere. Rarely, the tissue may grow in areas outside the pelvic region. Endometrial growths are also called implants, and they can range in size, growing as your hormone levels change. The condition typically occurs in childbearing years with implants usually shrinking once a woman enters menopause.
Mild endometriosis often causes very few symptoms if any, and some women may not realize she has the condition until she has difficulty conceiving. When it does cause symptoms, they can include:
Symptoms tend to be worse during periods, with some women experiencing symptoms even when they are not menstruating.
Endometriosis can make it difficult or even impossible to become pregnant, but some women are able to become pregnant even though they have the condition. In addition, women who have endometriosis and become pregnant are at greater risks for complications including miscarriage. These pregnancies are considered “high-risk” and must be managed closely to prevent complications from occurring.
Although endometriosis cannot be cured, painful symptoms can be treated. Treatment options include hormone therapy to control levels of estrogen so implant growth is also controlled, pain medications or surgery to remove the implants. IVF (in vitro fertilization) or IUI (intrauterine insemination) may be used to address problems with fertility. Since endometriosis cannot be cured, many women need ongoing treatment to keep the condition under control. Treatment plans can be customized to suit each woman’s individual needs.
Though endometriosis can be an extremely painful condition for many women, there are safe, viable options you can discuss with Dr. Hill. Call the office today.