The lining of the uterus is called the endometrium. Sometimes, this endometrial tissue grows elsewhere in the body. When this happens it is called endometriosis.
Endometriosis looks and acts like tissue in the uterus. It most often appears in places within the pelvis like the ovaries, fallopian tubes and surfaces of the uterus.
The main symptom of endometriosis is pelvic pain. Pain may occur with sex, during bowel movements or urination, or just before or during your menstrual cycle. Menstrual bleeding may occur more than once a month. Endometriosis may also cause infertility.
Laparoscopy (a lighted telescope inserted into the abdomen) allows the surgeon to visualize the pelvic organs and diagnose endometriosis.
Treatment options from our Endometriosis Specialists and OB/GYN doctors at Women's Institute for Specialized Health in Chattanooga, TN include:
- NSAID's (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) may be used to relieve pain.
- Hormones also may be used to relieve pain. The hormones also may help slow the growth of the endometrial tissue and prevent the growth of new adhesions, but will not make them go away. Hormone treatment is designed to stop the ovaries from producing. Hormones can be used to stop the menstrual cycle since this is frequently the time of the most pain.
- Laparoscopic surgery is often done to remove the endometriosis and scar tissue around it. If the pain is severe and returns, after initial surgical treatment then hysterectomy may be necessary.