Endometriosis affects one in 10 women across the United States, causing painful, heavy periods that impact your quality of life. At Women’s Healthcare Associates of Redding in Redding, California, Dr. Richard Mooney and Dr. Jorge Peña offer comprehensive endometriosis diagnostics and treatment options to alleviate your pain and manage abnormal periods. They can even perform minimally invasive surgical procedures to remove endometrial tissue growth with minimal downtime. Schedule a consultation online or by phone to learn more about treating endometriosis.
Endometriosis is a condition that affects the lining of your uterus. This lining, the endometrium, moves out of the uterus and begins growing in other areas of your body, including your ovaries, fallopian tubes, and other pelvic organs.
The excess endometrial tissue continues to function as it would normally, thickening and then breaking down with each menstrual cycle. As the tissue has no way to leave your body, it becomes trapped, irritating surrounding tissue and, in some cases, causing scar tissue that makes your pelvic organs stick together.
While the condition isn’t usually life-threatening, it can cause significant, ongoing pain and heavy bleeding that can interfere with your daily life.
Endometriosis can cause several symptoms, including:
In some cases, untreated endometriosis can result in fertility issues that make it difficult to conceive a child or maintain a pregnancy.
To diagnose endometriosis, your doctor first performs a pelvic exam to feel for abnormalities around your ovaries. To gain a clearer picture of the abnormal growth of your uterine lining, your doctor also uses an ultrasound that creates images of your uterus and other pelvic organs.
For further exploration, you may need a laparoscopy where your doctor inserts a laparoscope, a small instrument with an attached camera, to get a close up look at your pelvic region and identify abnormal tissue growth.
Depending on the severity of your symptoms and extent of tissue growth, your doctor may initially treat endometriosis using medication, including over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs and pain relievers.
Hormone therapy is also available to control heavy menstrual cramping and bleeding. Your doctor may prescribe birth control pills, provided you are a non-smoker and under the age of 35. Progestin-only hormone treatments can also help stop menstrual periods and the growth of endometrial tissue.
If these therapies aren’t effective in reducing your pain, your doctor may recommend surgery. To remove excess endometrial tissue, he may perform laparoscopic or traditional surgery. For severe cases of endometriosis, a hysterectomy may be the last resort if you aren’t planning to have children in the future.
To learn more about treatment options for endometriosis, schedule a consultation online or by calling the office.