Endometriosis affects hundreds of thousands of women, but many blow off their own symptoms as mere “women’s troubles.” Worse, many primary care physicians don’t understand how serious and common this disease is — nor how it can adversely affect fertility.
At Southern Crescent Women’s HealthCare in Newnan, Stockbridge, and Fayetteville, Georgia, our team of reproductive care specialists can help diagnose and treat endometriosis to increase your chances of successful conception.
What is endometriosis?
Endometriosis is a condition that causes excess uterine cells (cells which make up the lining of your uterus, many of which slough away during menses) to begin to grow outside of the uterus, in other parts of your body.
Since these cells aren’t inside your uterus and don’t have access to your cervix, they can’t be flushed from your body during your period. Instead, they linger in the body and adhere to the cells around them, causing painful lesions.
Endometriosis can cause many health issues, including chronic pelvic pain; urinary issues and bowel problems; pain during intercourse; and heavy or irregular periods. And when cells start to accumulate in patches on your ovaries or fallopian tubes, you may find you have difficulty conceiving. Sadly, many women go undiagnosed for years, despite their symptoms, and their fertility issues go unaddressed. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Who is likely to have endometriosis?
An estimated ten percent of women have endometriosis. If you have a close female relative who has endometriosis, your personal risk of also having the condition is higher, as it seems to run in families.
Endometriosis and fertility
Endometriosis can make things difficult if you are trying to get pregnant. Uterine cells on the fallopian tubes or ovaries can prevent the release of your eggs or block them from reaching the uterus to implant. Fortunately, there are several treatments that can help this problem.
First, if you are finding it difficult to conceive, your gynecologist can perform a pelvic exam or ultrasound to see if endometriosis is a likely culprit. Once endometriosis is suspected, he can order a laparoscopy to confirm endometriosis and identify where a blockage may have occurred.
In some cases, hormone treatments and pain medication can control endometriosis symptoms.
And, If necessary, minor surgery can be done to remove clumps of endometrial cells from your fallopian tubes or ovaries and restore fertility.
If you think you may have endometriosis and it is affecting your fertility, contact us at 770-991-2200 or use our online booking system to schedule an appointment at one of our convenient locations today.