Suffering through the pain caused by endometriosis is hard enough, but that may not be the only challenge you’ll face. About 30-50% of women with endometriosis also have a hard time getting pregnant. The physicians at Martin, Lee & Page OBGYN are experts at diagnosing and treating endometriosis. If you live in the Memphis, Tennessee, area, call today for an appointment or use the online booking agent.
The endometrium is a tissue that lines the inside of the uterus. It goes through a monthly cycle in which it thickens in preparation for a pregnancy. If an egg isn’t fertilized, the endometrium is shed during your monthly menstrual period. Then the cycle starts all over again.
Endometriosis develops when endometrial tissue grows outside the uterus on the lining of the abdomen, the ovaries, and fallopian tubes. It may also grow on the outer surface of the uterus, bladder, ureters, intestines, and rectum.
When endometrial tissue grows outside the uterus, it still grows and thickens in response to estrogen during your monthly cycle. However, when it sheds, it can’t leave the body through the vagina like your menstrual flow. Instead, it’s stuck inside the abdomen.
In some cases, the thickened tissue breaks down and is eliminated by the body. The problem arises when endometrial tissue that’s outside the uterus sheds and doesn’t break down.
When this happens, the endometrial tissue sticks to nearby structures. Endometrial and surrounding tissues can become inflamed, irritated, and swollen, which ultimately causes scar tissue, called adhesions, to form.
The primary symptom of endometriosis is pain. Since the pain is worse before and during your menstrual period, it’s often mistaken for normal menstrual pain.
Pain from endometriosis can be mild or so severe it’s debilitating, and sometimes it radiates down your back and legs. You may have pain during or after sex, pain in your intestine or lower abdomen, and pain during urination or bowel movements.
Other symptoms include:
The pain caused by endometriosis may be treated with pain medications, hormone therapy to prevent monthly cycles, and surgery. The physicians at Martin, Lee & Page OBGYN can surgically remove areas of endometriosis. In many cases, the surgery is done using a minimally invasive laparoscope, which requires less recovery time.
If you’re experiencing pain or other symptoms of endometriosis, call or book an appointment online today.