Endometriosis is a common gynecological and immunological disease that can result in pelvic pain. Approximately 2-4% of women (and girls) of reproductive age and up to 30% of women with infertility have endometriosis. The disease occurs when endometrial cells develop outside of the uterus. The misplaced endometrial cells respond to the menstrual cycle in the same way as those lining the uterus. The tissue grows and sheds blood at the time of the cycle. However, instead of flowing out of body through the vagina, the blood shed by the misplaced cells has no way of leaving the body. The resulting internal bleeding can lead to chronic inflammation and the formation of adhesions and scar tissue.
Currently, endometriosis can only be diagnosed through laparoscopy—an outpatient surgical procedure that is a specialty of the physicians at Moscow Pullman OB/GYN. Endometriosis may be treated with drugs and/or surgery in an effort to reduce or relieve symptoms and to eliminate or reduce the growths. Treatment options offered by Moscow Pullman OB/GYN include:
- Hormone therapy. Birth control pills or another category of drugs which block the production of estrogen may be prescribed. Specific drugs have been used to reduce pain and make surgery easier by reducing the inflammation related to endometriosis.
- Laparoscopic ablation. This procedure is used to remove the top layer of tissue in an affected area.
- Laparoscopic excision. This procedure involves the cutting out and removal of local areas of endometriosis.
- Hysterectomy. In severe or recurrent cases of endometriosis, we may recommend a hysterectomy (removal of the uterus), and in some cases, removal of one or both of the ovaries. A hysterectomy, however, does not always eliminate endometriosis, because the lesions may not be confined to the reproductive organs.
- Pain medication. Over the counter or prescription drugs may be used to treat the pain resulting from endometriosis.
Endometriosis can be a complex and puzzling disease, but many effective therapies are available. Please consult the professionals at Moscow Pullman OB/GYN for information on your specific condition.