Is there a cure for endometriosis? Sadly, it is a chronic condition with no cure as of today. Fortunately, there are several treatment options available you can discuss with Virginia Women’s Health Associates to help reduce the symptoms of this very common condition.
What Is Endometriosis?
Endometriosis is a common gynecological condition that affects up to 10% of women. When a woman has endometriosis, the tissue lining the inside of the uterus, known as endometrium, grows in other parts of your reproductive system. You can find this tissue outside of the uterus, fallopian tubes, bowels, and tissue lining your pelvis. Endometrial tissue that grows outside of the uterus is known as an endometrial implant.
The hormonal changes during your menstrual cycle affect this tissue and cause the area near the endometrial implant to become inflamed and painful. The precipitates the tissue to grow, thicken, and then break down. As time passes, the tissue has nowhere to go and is trapped in your pelvis.
Adhesions, irritation, scar formation, severe pain during your period, and issues with fertility are all the result of this trapped tissue.
Common Symptoms Of Endometriosis
Symptoms can range from mild to severe. Some women have no symptoms at first and don’t realize they have endometriosis.
Watch for the following symptoms:
- Pain and cramps before and during menstruation
- Heavy menstrual bleeding
- Pain during sex and discomfort during bowel movements
If you begin to notice any of these symptoms, make an appointment with Virginia Women’s Health Associates in Reston & Annandale, VA.
How Is Endometriosis Treated?
Treatments may be based on the severity of your symptoms.
If symptoms are mild, pain relievers like non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications will be recommended at first. Prescription medications may also be a treatment. Watchful waiting by your physician will be employed to see if symptoms change, but no other treatment is deemed necessary at this time.
This can be in the form of a pill, injection, or nasal spray.
Oral contraceptive with both estrogen and progestin hormones to prevent ovulation and reduce menstrual flow.
Another hormone to stop hormone production.
The male hormone, danazol, where you will only have a period occasionally or not at all.
These hormonal treatments have their pros and cons, so speak with Virginia Women’s Health Associates to discuss which option may be right for you.
Minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery is a conservative approach to removing endometrial tissue using lasers. This is considered if hormonal treatments do not work and you want to have children. Here, endometriosis is treated without damaging any other tissue or organs.
As a last resort, a woman can have a hysterectomy where both the uterus and cervix are removed. The ovaries may also be removed. Once you have a hysterectomy performed, you cannot have children. Seeking a second opinion is always recommended before taking this step.
The symptoms of endometriosis usually improve after menopause.