Approximately 11% of American women suffer from endometriosis. This painful condition that can cause irregular bleeding and infertility can be managed by at the practice of Donna J. Hagberg, MD, in Cos Cob, Connecticut. Women who have been diagnosed with endometriosis or have symptoms that suggest the condition, can call her office, or book online for information about treatment.
Endometriosis is a condition in which the endometrial uterine tissue grows outside of the uterus. It may adhere to several areas, including:
In severe cases, endometrial tissue may also attach to the bowel, vulva, and cervix. In rare cases, endometrial tissue can even appear on the lungs and brain. This tissue still sheds every month just like the tissue located in your uterus but doesn’t have natural exit paths. As a result, you experience pain and irregular bleeding.
Endometriosis has a number of painful, uncomfortable symptoms. These include:
Some women with endometriosis also experience digestive distress, especially during their menstrual cycle.
Endometriosis is diagnosed by the clinical history, a pelvic exam and occasionally additional testing such as lab work and ultrasound. In some situations, a surgical approach may be indicated to evaluate the pelvic anatomy.
Endometriosis symptoms can be managed. When symptoms are mild, over-the-counter suggestions such as Ibuprofen or Naproxen can be very helpful. When symptoms are more severe, and if you aren’t interested in getting pregnant, hormonal birth control and progesterone can help manage your symptoms. The pill or an intrauterine device can reduce pain and bleeding. If you are trying to get pregnant, Dr. Hagberg may offer GnRH (or gonadotropin-releasing hormones) as a solution. You take these hormones temporarily to halt the process of ovulation and slow the growth of endometriosis. When you go off the hormones, your body may be more ready to accept a pregnancy.
In severe cases of endometriosis, minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery can remove the excess endometrial tissue and alleviate your symptoms.