Many women have trouble conceiving. If you’re one of them, the cause of infertility may be endometriosis, in which your uterine lining cells grow outside your uterus. It can be a painful condition, but you may also not even realize you have the problem. Visit the best gynecologists in Brooklyn at Century Medical and Dental Center, a multi-disciplinary clinic where you can get the care you need. Call today for an appointment.
The lining of your uterus, called the endometrium, grows and then sloughs off during your period. Some women, however, experience the growth of this tissue outside their uterus — on their fallopian tubes, ovaries and the tissue lining the pelvis. Some even experience endometrial tissue growth on their other pelvic organs such as the bladder, bowels or surrounding area.
This excess growth binds and scars the surrounding organs, causing pain, inflammation, excessive bleeding and occasional complications with other pelvic organs. This tissue acts as it normally would inside your uterus — growing, thickening, and ultimately, breaking down and bleeding. When this endometrial tissue bleeds into your abdominal cavity, it sometimes causes significant pain.
The deteriorating endometrial cells have no way to escape your body, which normally occurs from inside your uterus during your cycle. So these cells continue to irritate the surrounding tissue causing adhesions and scarring.
Symptoms of Endometriosis
The level of pain you experience depends on which organs are involved and how close to certain nerves the endometrial tissue grows. Some women have significant endometrial growth and little pain, while others have minor growth but severe pain. While abdominal pain, especially during your menstrual cycle, is the most common symptom, other symptoms include:
- Pain during bowel movements or urination, especially during your period
- Pain during or after sexual intercourse
- Lower back and abdominal pain during your period and for several days before and after
- Extremely painful periods, called dysmenorrhea
- Bleeding between menstrual cycles
- More bleeding than usual during your period
- Issues with infertility
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Nausea or bloating
Endometriosis may be mistaken for other pelvic conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome, pelvic inflammatory disease or ovarian cysts. Find an experienced Brooklyn gynecologist. to thoroughly examine you and understand your symptoms for the best diagnosis and treatment of your endometriosis pain. Visit Century Medical and Dental Center, a comprehensive multi-disciplinary clinic that delivers the best care.
What Causes Endometriosis?
There are four stages of endometriosis, from mild to severe. Researchers are still searching for the exact cause of endometriosis pain, but some possibilities and risks seem common for those who experience it, such as:
- Endometriosis pain that occurs after a hysterectomy or C-section birth when endometrial cells attach to the incisions.
- A unique form of menstruation, retrograde menstruation, occurs when the endometrial cells in the uterine lining flow back up through the fallopian tubes, don’t leave the body, and instead flow in the pelvic cavity.
- Hormones may send the wrong signals to the cells lining the inside of your abdomen — called peritoneal cells — and convert them to endometrial cells.
- Estrogen may transform cells in an embryo and fetus into endometrial tissue that become implanted outside the reproductive system. This usually happens during puberty.
- Your immune system may fail to identify and destroy endometrial cells that travel outside the uterus.
Risk Factors for Endometriosis
Certain women seem more prone to endometrial pain and complications. Ask your doctor if your diet plays a role in your risk. Endometriosis seems more likely If:
- You’ve never given birth
- Started your period at an early age
- Experience heavy menstruation
- Have family members that have endometriosis
- You’re underweight
- Experience reproductive tract abnormalities that make it difficult for your body to expel menstrual material
Most women develop endometriosis several years after menarche. The symptoms vary and may improve during pregnancy. Most women cease having endometrial pain after menopause. Endometrial infertility is the major complication from this disease. Endometrial cancer is rare, although those who experience endometrial symptoms have a slightly greater risk of ovarian cancer.
After diagnosing your condition, your Brooklyn gynecologist relies on a number of treatment options that involve medication or surgery, depending on how severe your symptoms are and whether the endometrial tissue inhibits fertility. Treatment options include:
- Pain relief from over-the-counter or prescribed pain medications
- Hormone therapy, such as oral contraceptives, an intrauterine device or injections that regulate the amount of estrogen in your system
- Laparoscopy for endometriosis, a minimally invasive form of surgery that minimizes scarring while removing endometrial growths on your ovaries or fallopian tubes that may hinder conception
- A full hysterectomy that includes removing your ovaries, if you no longer expect to get pregnant
Getting the Best Care
Endometriosis remains a complex and frustrating condition. Your Brooklyn gynecologist uses the latest research, state-of-the-art techniques and successful experience to help you find the best options available for treating your endometrial pain and keeping the condition at bay.
Once you find trusted and experienced Brooklyn doctors like the ones at Century Medical and Dental Center, you can rely on them for any issues, including endometriosis. Make an appointment today!