Endometriosis

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If you experience severe pelvic pain or heavy periods and haven’t had any luck getting pregnant, you may be experiencing the effects of endometriosis. Because two hallmarks of endometriosis, period pain and heavy bleeding, are often considered “normal” by many women, they may not think to talk with their doctor about the problem. At Louisiana Women’s Healthcare, the sooner you discuss your endometriosis symptoms with your physician, the sooner you can receive proper diagnosis and treatment.

What is endometriosis?

Endometriosis is a condition in which the type of cells that normally line the inside of the uterus grows outside of your uterus where they don’t belong. Your body doesn’t have a way to flush them out, leading to inflammation, painful lesions and scar tissue. 

How do I know if I have endometriosis?

If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, you might have endometriosis:

  • Painful periods
  • Pain during sex
  • Pain during urination or bowel movements
  • Heavy bleeding
  • Infertility

How common is endometriosis?

According to the American College of Obstetrician and Gynecologists, endometriosis may affect about 1 in 10 women of reproductive age, yet it often goes undiagnosed for some time. Addressing endometriosis early on is important for minimizing symptoms and potential complications, including fertility problems.

Who can get endometriosis?

Any woman who has menstrual periods can get endometriosis. Endometriosis occurs most often between the ages of 25 and 40, but it also can occur in younger women.

How does endometriosis affect fertility?

Endometriosis doesn’t directly or automatically cause infertility, but it can make it harder for you to get pregnant. If uterine cells form on your ovaries or fallopian tubes, they can keep eggs from reaching the uterus, interfering with conception. Endometriosis can also impact fertility by triggering inflammation that may harm sperm or eggs, keeping them from moving freely. At estimated 40% of women with infertility also have endometriosis.

How is endometriosis diagnosed?

The first step towards a correct endometriosis diagnosis is a visit with your physician at Louisiana Women’s Healthcare.  Your gynecologist will discuss your medical history and the symptoms you experience before performing a pelvic exam to look for abnormalities.  Surgery (laparoscopy) is the only way to confirm that you have endometriosis. 

How is endometriosis treated?

Treatment is tailored to meet your specific needs, and could include a combination of the following:

  • Pain medication
  • Hormone therapy
  • Conservative surgery that preserves your reproductive organs
  • Hysterectomy to remove your uterus and possibly your ovaries

Expert endometriosis care in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

We know learning that you may have endometriosis can be difficult. The good news is that the condition is treatable. Louisiana Women’s Healthcare offers a full range of endometriosis testing to identify the signs of endometriosis and treatment options for endometriosis pain relief. Our endometriosis experts can create a care plan that can help restore your quality of life. If you have or suspect endometriosis, schedule an appointment online, through MyOchsner, or by phone (225) 201-2010.