What is Endometriosis?

Endometriosis is a profound overgrowth of the lining of the uterus. This abundant tissue often spills out the fallopian tubes into the abdomen, adhering to its walls and attaching to organs such as the large intestine. If you're one of the millions of American women who suffer from the pain, uncomfortable menstruation and other symptoms of endometriosis, Northwest Associates for Women's Healthcare can help.

Reasons for endometriosis

Endometriosis affects about 11 percent of women between the ages of 15 and 44, reports the Office on Women's Health. Impacting fertility, menstruation, sexual intercourse and more, this excess uterine tissue is so painful and invasive that even digestion and back health worsen as the condition progresses.

Why does this benign overgrowth happen in the first place? Some researchers report that heredity plays a significant role. In other words, if you have a mother or a sister who has, or had, endometriosis, you probably will develop it, too.

Additionally, OB/GYN doctors explain that excess estrogen in the system, previous abdominal surgeries, a deficient immune system and more may contribute to endometriosis. Retrograde menstruation, however, probably is the most common cause as the products of a women's monthly period back up through the fallopian tubes and enter the abdomen. Most women experience this back up to some degree, but those with endometriosis have it to the extreme.

Diagnosing and treating endometriosis

When you come to Northwest Associates for Women's Healthcare, your gynecologist will ask you about your symptoms. Be as specific as you can about the kind of pain you experience (cramping, stabbing), its location and duration and what may precipitate it. For instance, many women complain of pain during sex or when they urinate or move their bowels.

Then, your doctor will do a pelvic examination and do ultrasound imaging. If these tests reveal characteristic endometrial lesions, he or she may use one or more of the following therapies to bring you some relief:

  • Pain management with over the counter Naproxen or Ibuprofen
  • Hormones administered orally or by injection
  • Small-incision laparoscopic surgery to remove lesions or ablation to destroy the endometrium with heat

Get help for endometriosis

Unfortunately, while endometriosis cannot be cured, it can be managed to reduce pain, improve GI function, regularize periods and reduce infertility problems. Call Northwest Associates for Women's Healthcare for a consultation.

Do you need treatment for Endometriosis? Contact Northwest Associates for Women's Healthcare in Hoffman Estates, IL at  (847) 884-1800 for an appointment!