Pelvic pain isn’t normal and can limit a woman’s ability to enjoy life. Endometriosis is a common cause of pelvic pain in women, but there are many treatment options available to relieve the pain. At KEM Health Obstetrics & Gynecology in Atlanta, Georgia, the team provides advanced treatment options for patients with pelvic pain of all sources. To learn about endometriosis treatment options, call the office today or schedule an appointment online.

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What is endometriosis?

Endometriosis is one of the most common causes of pelvic pain and infertility in women.

Endometriosis occurs when the endometrium, or tissue that normally lines the inside of the uterus, grows outside of the uterus. The tissue can grow on the organs in a woman’s pelvis, including the ovaries and fallopian tubes.

The endometrial tissue usually follows a normal menstrual cycle – thickening, breaking down, and bleeding – as if it were in the uterus, but it doesn’t exit normally because the tissue is trapped outside the uterus. This can cause pain, irritation, infertility, and scar tissue over time.

What are the symptoms of endometriosis?

Endometriosis symptoms are different for every woman, but the most common symptom is pelvic pain. While this pain is typically associated with menstrual periods, it can be much worse than usual menstrual cramps. You may have endometriosis if you regularly experience:

  • Pelvic pain
  • Lower back pain
  • Pain during or after sexual intercourse
  • Excessive bleeding during menstruation or bleeding between periods
  • Infertility
  • Pain with urination or bowel movements

The severity of your symptoms does not always indicate the severity of endometriosis.

When you meet with the team, bring a list of all the symptoms you are experiencing. They work with you to diagnose your endometriosis and establish an individualized pain management plan.

How is endometriosis diagnosed?

The cause of endometriosis is largely unknown, but some women are more likely to have it than others. Your likelihood of having endometriosis depends on both family and personal medical history.

You are more likely to have endometriosis if you have never given birth, if other women in your family have it, or if you have high levels of estrogen.

To diagnose endometriosis, the team looks at your medical history, talks with you about your symptoms and pain, and performs a pelvic exam. They may also use an ultrasound or laparoscopic procedure.

What are the treatment options for endometriosis?

If you are diagnosed with endometriosis, the team tailors an individualized treatment plan for you. Sometimes, over-the-counter pain relief will ease symptoms, but in more advanced cases, hormonal regulation can be an effective method for endometriosis.

Hormonal menstrual regulation controls your body’s natural rise and fall of hormones and may slow down or prevent endometrial tissue from growing.

Hormonal contraceptives or other therapies can effectively control endometriosis, helping to eliminate pain and get you back to feeling good and enjoying life.

If these methods don’t provide relief, the team may recommend surgery.

For comprehensive care and treatment of endometriosis, call KEM Health Obstetrics & Gynecology today or schedule an appointment online.