Treatment Options for Endometriosis

Treatment Options for Endometriosis

About 11% of women have endometriosis, a painful condition that develops when the tissue that lines your uterus starts growing outside of your uterus. 

These growths are called endometrial implants, and they can grow on the outside of your uterus, on your ovaries or fallopian tubes, on your bowel or bladder, or elsewhere in your pelvic area. Rarely, implants can grow in your chest cavity.

The symptoms of endometriosis can take a big toll on a woman’s comfort and lifestyle. At Women's Pavilion of the Palm Beaches, Leroy Charles, MD, FACOG, and his team help women relieve endometriosis symptoms with treatments tailored to their unique needs. Here’s how they can help you.

Endometriosis: Know the symptoms

Endometriosis can cause a variety of symptoms, and knowing what to look for means you can get treatment as early as possible. The most common symptoms include:

Some women wonder why their symptoms tend to worsen during their periods or during ovulation. The answer: Endometrial implants are made up of the same tissue as what normally lines your uterus — and they respond to hormone changes just like the tissue inside your uterus.

Treating endometriosis

Even though endometriosis symptoms are all caused by endometrial implants, the severity of the symptoms can vary dramatically from one woman to another. Symptoms can also change over time, which means that mere mild symptoms could worsen over time.

As a fellow of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Dr. Charles offers both nonsurgical and surgical treatment for endometriosis based on the individual patient's needs.

Medication

For very mild symptoms associated with endometriosis, over-the-counter pain medications may be all that’s needed to relieve symptoms. For more severe symptoms, Dr. Charles may suggest hormone therapy.

Hormone therapy uses bioidentical hormones that are chemically similar to the hormones your body naturally produces. This therapy can be used to control your estrogen levels to help reduce symptom flare-up and severity.

For some women, birth control pills can be effective in relieving endometriosis symptoms. Dr. Charles performs a thorough exam, a review of your health history and symptoms, and lab tests to determine which option is right for you.

Surgery

Surgical removal of the endometrial implants might be a better option if you have moderate to severe endometriosis symptoms, or your symptoms are chronic or interfere with your quality of life. 

Surgery is also recommended for very large growths or when endometrial implants interfere with your ability to get pregnant.

Dr. Charles uses one of two surgical approaches for removing endometrial implants:

If you don’t plan on becoming pregnant, you might consider a hysterectomy to remove your uterus and sometimes your ovaries too. After a hysterectomy and oophorectomy (removal of your ovaries), you’ll enter menopause and won’t be able to have children in the future. You also won’t have any more periods.

Find relief for your symptoms

If your symptoms are mild, you might not even realize you have endometriosis unless implant growth increases. That’s why it’s important to have regular gynecological checkups, so you can get the treatment you need to stay healthy.

To learn more about endometriosis treatments at our practice in Greenacres, Florida, call or book an appointment online today.

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