About one in 10 women of reproductive age has endometriosis, a potentially painful condition that can make it difficult to get pregnant. At his practice, J. Shan Young, MD, gynecologist Johnny Young, MD, and his knowledgeable team diagnose and treat endometriosis at their warm and welcoming office in Anniston, Alabama. If you think you may have endometriosis, call the office or book an appointment online today.
The endometrium is the tissue that normally lines the inside of your uterus and sheds with your period. When you have endometriosis, this tissue grows in places it shouldn't, including on the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and the outer surface of the uterus.
These abnormal growths are called endometrial implants. In rare cases, endometrial implants can develop outside of the pelvic area. The endometrial implants continue to act like normal endometrium, thickening and bleeding with each menstrual cycle.
Because the displaced tissue has no way to exit your body, it gets trapped. This can irritate the surrounding organs and may eventually lead to scar tissue called adhesions, which can cause your tissues and organs to stick together.
Pelvic pain is a major symptom of endometriosis. Pain often worsens during your period. You may also experience pain during intercourse.
Other signs and symptoms of endometriosis include:
Some women with endometriosis don’t experience any symptoms at all. However, the severity of your symptoms does not indicate the extent of your condition.
About 40% of women with infertility also have endometriosis. Even though this condition can make it harder to get pregnant, you may still be able to have a baby. The team at J. Shan Young, MD, offers treatments that help many women with endometriosis go on to have successful pregnancies.
First, a provider from the team carefully reviews your medical history and performs a physical and pelvic exam. If they suspect endometriosis, additional testing may be necessary. Dr. Young performs minimally invasive laparoscopy, which is the only way to confirm a diagnosis of endometriosis.
Laparoscopy involves inserting a pencil-thin camera and miniature surgical tools through small incisions in your abdomen. If your surgeon finds an area of abnormal tissue, he may remove a small amount for lab testing. This is called a biopsy.
After they diagnose endometriosis, the team recommends the best treatment for your needs. The treatment approach depends on whether or not you want to get pregnant in the future.
Hormonal medications, including birth control pills, are usually the first line of endometriosis treatment for women who don’t want to get pregnant. If you’re trying to conceive, or if your symptoms persist despite medications, surgery may be necessary.
For advanced care of endometriosis, call J. Shan Young, MD, or book an appointment online today.