Endometriosis is a disorder in which functioning (not dormant) endometrial-like tissue begins to grow in a place of the body other than the uterus. The problem is that it continues to grow, thicken, shed, and bleed as it normally would, but there is usually no exit point as there is in the uterus.
It is a condition that continues to baffle doctors insofar as why it happens. Endometriosis usually affects the fallopian tubes and/or ovaries, thereby causing painful periods, pain when you have sex, and pain when you urinate.
WHAT CAN RELIEVE MY ENDOMETRIOSIS PAIN?
Fortunately, there are a number of treatments that can alleviate the problem. Your symptoms may range from mild to severe, and the treatment will correlate with the severity of your symptoms.
BIRTH CONTROL PILLS
When you have endometriosis, the wayward endometrial cells can cause a great deal of pain when you have your monthly menstrual cycle. Birth control pills, particularly those with a high amount of progestin or with low amounts of estrogen, can greatly help with endometriosis pain. These pills may prevent endometrial cells from shedding, thereby reducing or eliminating irritation and inflammation.
Intrauterine devices (IUDs) are methods of birth control. Each IUD is a small piece of bio-grade plastic that is shaped like the letter “T.” Your gynecologist places it inside of your uterus to prevent pregnancy.
One type of IUD consists of copper, while the other type releases the hormone progestin. The hormonal version may help to prevent pain from endometriosis.
BIRTH CONTROL PATCH OR VAGINAL RING
As with other contraceptives, vaginal rings and birth control patches that contain progestin can regulate your menstrual cycle. They also can reduce or eliminate your monthly cycle to prevent scarring and pain during menstruation.
GONADOTROPIN-RELEASING HORMONE ANTAGONISTS AND AGONISTS
Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (Gn-RH) antagonists and agonists are drugs that may prevent menstruation, lower your levels of estrogen, and block ovary-stimulating hormones. Basically, these drugs put you into an artificial menopause and will therefore shrink the endometrial tissue wherever it appears in your body.
In serious cases of endometriosis, or if you want to get pregnant, you may need to have surgery. With this option, your surgeon removes any endometrial cells outside of the normal endometrial lining. The surgeon won’t harm your ovaries or uterus.
Infertility treatment may be necessary if you have endometriosis but would like to be able to get pregnant and have a successful pregnancy. For this treatment, your healthcare practitioner will thoroughly assess your condition and your general medical history.
You may receive treatment to stimulate your ovaries to produce eggs. Another option is in vitro fertilization, which consists of combining your egg and your partner’s sperm in a laboratory dish and then the doctor inserting the fertilized embryo into your uterus.
GYNECOLOGY IN WOOSTER, OHIO
Wooster Community Hospital has experienced gynecologists on our staff who will take all of the necessary steps to reduce your pain and foster optimum health. If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment with one of our OB/GYN physicians, call us today at (330) 263-8100 or fill out our appointment request form online now. We look forward to being your whole family’s healthcare partner!