More than 11% of women aged 15-44 develop endometriosis, a condition that may not cause any symptoms or leave you in extreme pain. With or without symptoms, endometriosis can cause infertility. The doctors at Garden OB/GYN accurately diagnose the cause of your pain and provide customized treatment that alleviates your symptoms and helps you get pregnant, if that’s your goal. If you have questions about endometriosis or infertility, call one of the nine offices in Midtown West, the Upper East Side, Manhattan, Forest Hills, Garden City, Lake Success, Bay Shore, Massapequa, and Commack, New York, or book an appointment online.
Endometriosis develops when tissues that line the inside of your uterus, the endometrium, grow outside the uterus. Patches of endometriosis may appear on the outer wall of the uterus or on your fallopian tubes and ovaries. It can also occur on your bladder, bowel, and the tissues lining your abdomen.
The uterine lining responds to changes in hormones during your monthly cycles. Hormones trigger changes that prepare the endometrium to nurture an embryo if you become pregnant. If you don’t become pregnant, the endometrium sheds, creating your menstrual period.
When endometrial tissues grow outside your uterus, they continue to respond to hormones. When it’s time for your period, patches of endometriosis bleed inside your pelvis, causing inflammation that eventually leads to scarring.
Endometriosis is known for one primary symptom: pain. Some women don’t have any symptoms, but when they appear you may experience:
The severity of your pain doesn’t necessarily reflect the extent of your endometriosis. You could have a small patch of endometriosis and experience severe pain, or you could have extensive endometriosis with mild pain.
Endometriosis can make it hard to get pregnant. Many women who don’t develop symptoms discover they have endometriosis when they schedule an infertility evaluation because they haven’t been able to conceive. An estimated 40% of women with infertility have endometriosis.
Your treatment is based on the severity of your symptoms and whether you plan to have a baby in the future. The most conservative treatment begins with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to relieve your pain and hormonal medication to reduce or stop your menstrual periods.
When you can’t tolerate your symptoms or you want to improve your fertility, your doctor at Garden OB/GYN may recommend minimally invasive surgery to remove the patches of endometriosis.
Pelvic pain is a generic symptom that arises from many possible gynecologic conditions. To determine whether your pain is due to endometriosis, schedule an appointment by calling Garden OB/GYN or using the online booking feature.