Many women of childbearing age suffer from endometriosis. Besides heavy periods and chronic pelvic pain, women with endometriosis may also have difficulty getting pregnant. If endometriosis is interfering with your life, call or make an appointment online with Dr. Dana Snell-Hargrove at My OB/GYN in Fort Worth, Texas.
Endometriosis is a medical issue that occurs when the tissue that lines your uterus grows where it shouldn’t. These include your:
The displaced tissue continues to thicken, breaks down and bleeds with your menstrual cycle.
With no way out of your body, the displaced tissue gets trapped and irritates the surrounding tissue. You also get scars, and your pelvic tissue and organs may stick to each other.
Pain is the most common symptom associated with endometriosis. The types of discomfort you feel include:
Other symptoms include:
Dr. Snell-Hargrove begins her assessment with a physical and pelvic exam during which she feels for cysts or scars behind your uterus. Imaging tests -- including an ultrasound and in some cases a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
Minimally invasive laparoscopy also helps Dr. Snell-Hargrove look at the inside of your pelvic area and spot the offending endometrial tissue. She may biopsy or sample the tissue to confirm the diagnosis.
Medication, surgery, or a combination of the two are the most common treatments for endometriosis. The type of treatment you receive depends on your symptoms, desire to have children, and the extent of the disease.
The medications Dr. Snell-Hargrove prescribes for endometriosis include pain relievers and hormonal medicines such as:
Hormones help slow the rate at which endometrial tissue grows and keeps new adhesions from forming. However, hormones don’t eliminate the endometriosis tissue you already have.
Dr. Snell-Hargrove performs surgery to help relieve your pain and improve your fertility. While having your ovaries removed makes your endometriosis less likely to return, hysterectomies are a "last resort" option for severe pain that doesn’t go away with treatment because it is a major surgery.
For treatment options that relieve the symptoms associated with endometriosis, call or make an appointment online with Dr. Dana N. Snell-Hargrove at My OB/GYN in Fort Worth, Texas.