One in every 10 women of child-bearing age has endometriosis, which is an overgrowth of the uterine lining that causes abnormal bleeding and infertility. Expert gynecologist Elliece Smith, MD, PC, offers evaluation and treatment for endometriosis at her practice in Lanham, Maryland. You don’t have to live with painful and disruptive symptoms. Call the office or book an appointment online today.
Your uterus is lined with cells called the endometrium. This is where a fertilized egg attaches if you get pregnant, but when pregnancy doesn’t occur, the lining sheds and bleeds as your menstrual period.
Endometriosis is diagnosed when this tissue grows outside of your uterus. It can appear on other reproductive organs, your anus, bladder, and rectum.
The abnormal tissue cycles just like your uterine tissue, however, bleeding and shedding monthly. Because it’s abnormally placed, it doesn’t have a clear exit strategy, causing unusual internal bleeding, pain, and potentially, infertility.
Endometriosis doesn’t always cause symptoms. When it does, you may experience pelvic pain that ranges from moderate to severe. This pain can get worse during your period. Other symptoms include:
If you notice these symptoms, schedule a diagnostic exam to determine the cause.
Dr. Smith may suspect endometriosis due to your symptoms or after conducting a routine pelvic exam, but the only reliable way to confirm the diagnosis is through laparoscopy. She can identify the irregular tissue and have it analyzed in a lab.
Treatment focuses on managing symptoms to improve your quality of life. Pain medication reduces discomfort for the short term. Hormone therapy may be an option to ease your menstrual cycle and reduce pain and inflammation.
Some drugs block your natural hormone production, but they may bring on temporary menopause and the associated symptoms.
Dr. Smith may recommend surgery to remove bothersome endometrial tissue. In many cases, when tissue is removed your fertility is restored, and you’re able to get pregnant. The surgery is done laparoscopically, so recovery is quick and complications rare.
Dr. Smith makes every effort to find a conservative approach that yields results. In severe cases, however, hysterectomy may be the only way to effectively treat endometriosis.
To learn more about these and other treatment options, schedule a visit today. Online scheduling makes it easy to find a time that fits your schedule or call to check availability.