Endometriosis is a painful and often debilitating condition that is fairly common among reproductive-aged women. According to the Office on Women’s Health, over 10% of American women are believed to struggle with endometriosis, which in addition to being painful, can also make it more difficult to get pregnant.
While there’s no “cure” for endometriosis, there are several treatment options available to help manage the symptoms. At Memorial Women’s Specialists, our team of gynecologists and obstetricians offers endometriosis diagnosis and treatment and women’s health services at our office in Houston, Texas.
Treatment options for endometriosis
If you suspect that you have endometriosis or have already been diagnosed, our team of OB/GYN doctors can help you find a treatment plan to manage your symptoms. While there isn’t a cure for endometriosis, you don’t have to live with the pain.
Endometriosis causes endometrial tissue to grow outside of the uterus. So, when you get your period every month, the tissue reacts exactly as it’s supposed to — it becomes thicker and bleeds in preparation to pass through your body via your menstrual cycle.
The problem is that when endometrial tissue grows outside of the uterus, your body can’t remove it. The tissue remains “trapped” in your body, leading to pain and other symptoms, like bloating, bowel and urinary problems, cramping, fatigue, and even infertility.
Although there’s no “one size fits all” treatment for endometriosis, hormonal birth control pills and IUD (intrauterine device) are common and effective treatments. Hormone therapy through birth control and medication can lower endometriosis pain by slowing the growth of the endometrial tissue.
Depending on your symptoms and the extent and location of the excess endometrial tissue (it can also grow outside of the pelvis), taking pain medication is sometimes enough to help you stay comfortable and enjoy your normal activities during your period. In general, endometriosis treatment usually starts conservatively.
In severe cases of endometriosis where conservative treatments have failed to provide relief or have become ineffective, surgery may be an option.
Your endometriosis treatment plan will be designed specifically for you and takes several factors into account, such as your age, health profile, lifestyle, and whether you plan to get pregnant in the future.
Fertility and endometriosis
Endometriosis can affect fertility by blocking the fallopian tubes and creating scar tissue, making conception more difficult. If you’re having difficulty getting pregnant due to endometriosis, we can help. Our OB/GYN team will design a comprehensive treatment plan specifically for you.
Gynecological conditions like endometriosis are just one of several factors that can make it more difficult to get pregnant. Treating underlying health problems is one of the first steps in treating infertility.
If you’re experiencing painful, heavy periods or other symptoms, contact us to schedule an appointment. Abnormally heavy bleeding and pelvic pain can be symptoms of endometriosis and other gynecological problems like PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome).
For more information about endometriosis and the treatment options available to you, contact Memorial Women’s Specialists today to schedule an appointment at our office in Houston, Texas.