What is endometriosis?
The lining of the uterus is called the endometrium. Sometimes this tissue grows elsewhere in the body. This condition, called endometriosis, can cause pain that ranges from mild to severe. Left untreated, endometriosis can cause infertility. Endometriosis is a long-term condition, with symptoms that may occur off and on until menopause.
What are the symptoms of endometriosis?
Women who have endometriosis often show no symptoms. When there are symptoms, they can include:
- pelvic pain before or during the menstrual cycle
- pelvic pain during sex, bowel movements or urination
- menstrual bleeding more than once a month
How is endometriosis diagnosed?
To determine whether you have endometriosis, Dr. Garofalo may conduct one or more of the following:
- pelvic pain questionnaire review
(Pelvic Pain Assessment Form)
(Pelvic Pain Assessment Spanish)
- physical and pelvic examinations
- ultrasound or hysterosonogram (ultrasound of the uterus)
- a minimally invasive laparoscopic procedure, which uses a Fiber-optic scope inserted through a small incision to view organs, take tissue samples, or even remove endometrial tissue
How is it treated?
Treatment can include one or more of the following:
- hormones such as those in birth control pills or intrauterine devices, which can slow the growth of endometrial tissue
- medications or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to relieve pain
- organ sparing surgery to preserve and enhance fertility, usually laparoscopic or daVinci, removing only endometriotic tissue
- definitive surgical treatment to remove the uterus (hysterectomy) or ovaries, usully laparoscopic or daVinci