Complications – Endometriosis

Endometriosis is a condition often resulting in pain. It may also be associated with bleeding abnormalities and infertility. It is a benign but progressive disease characterized by tissue from the lining of the uterus implanting in an aberrant location outside the uterus. It most commonly grows on the fallopian tubes, ovaries, and uterine ligaments, but may also involve the bowel, bladder or other sites of the body. Although there are many theories, we don’t know for sure why this occurs.

This disease is most commonly diagnosed by visualization of the abnormal tissue in the pelvis through a procedure called a diagnostic laparoscopy. During this procedure, your physician inserts a camera through an incision made in the belly button which allows visualization of the inner pelvis. Any abnormal areas may be biopsied during the procedure for confirmation of the diagnosis. Methods may also be employed to laser these areas to get rid of them, however much of the disease is microscopic and may not be directly visualized.

Another option for therapy, once the disease is suspected or diagnosed, is a medication called depo-lupron. This medication suppresses the ovaries into a temporary menopausal state. The abnormal tissue growth shrinks during Lupron therapy and most women become pain-free after three months of therapy. The full duration of therapy is six months. Approximately 60% of women are still free of pain five years after therapy. Ovaries regain function once the treatment is stopped so child-bearing is still possible. There are other medications that may help with the pain of endometriosis but none are as effective as Lupron at slowing the progression of the disease.

For more information regarding endometriosis and its treatment options, visit endofacts.com. Our providers at Oasis will address your concerns, as well.