South Sound Womens Center
OB-GYNs located in Olympia, WA
Endometriosis is a common, potentially painful condition that affects about one in 10 women during their reproductive years. The compassionate team of OB/GYNs at South Sound Women’s Center in Olympia, Washington, can diagnose endometriosis and provide treatment to minimize symptoms. If you suspect you may have endometriosis, please call our office to schedule an appointment at South Sound Women’s Center today.
Endometriosis Q & A
What is endometriosis?
Endometriosis is a gynecological condition that’s most common in women in their 30s and 40s. This condition causes the tissue that normally grows inside your uterus and sheds during menstruation to develop in other areas outside your uterus.
Endometriosis may affect the following areas:
- Fallopian tubes
- Outer surface of the uterus
- Pelvic lining
- Nonreproductive organs such as the intestines and bladder
What are the symptoms of endometriosis?
When you have endometriosis, this tissue grows and bleeds with your menstrual cycle the same way the tissue inside your uterus does. Since there’s no place for this endometrium to go, it can cause severe pain, especially before and during your period.
Other common symptoms of endometriosis include:
- Heavy vaginal bleeding
- Bleeding between periods
- Chronic pelvic pain
- Painful sex
- Pain during urination or bowel movements
Endometriosis symptoms can vary greatly from woman to woman, and the extent of your condition doesn’t necessarily correlate with the severity of your pain. Some women with advanced endometriosis may feel little to no pain, while mild endometriosis can cause debilitating pain in another woman.
How is endometriosis related to infertility?
About 40% of women who struggle with infertility also have endometriosis. Swelling and inflammation of your reproductive organs from endometriosis may make it difficult to get pregnant. However, it’s not impossible.
Many women who suffer from mild to moderate endometriosis are able to conceive and carry a pregnancy to term successfully. If you have endometriosis and want to have a baby, the team at South Sound Women's Center can discuss your best options for treatment.
How is endometriosis diagnosed and treated?
First, your doctor at South Sound Women’s Center performs a pelvic exam, including a review of your symptoms and medical history. If they suspect endometriosis, your doctor may conduct additional tests to confirm a diagnosis, such as an ultrasound, laparoscopy, or biopsy.
If you have endometriosis, your doctor works with you to develop a personalized treatment plan to minimize symptoms. They always begin with the most conservative treatment possible, which may include pain medications or hormone therapy.
In severe cases that don’t improve with treatment, your doctor may recommend surgery. The team at South Sound Women’s Center is highly skilled in minimally invasive surgeries and opt for vaginal hysterectomies whenever possible.
If you suffer from pelvic pain or other symptoms of endometriosis, call to schedule an appointment at South Sound Women’s Center today.