Heavy periods and pelvic pain are common in women and can develop from many causes, including endometriosis. Though it’s estimated that more than 11% of women of childbearing age have endometriosis, it can take years for women to get a diagnosis. The team of women’s health experts at Philadelphia Women's Health & Wellness in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, specializes in diagnosing and treating endometriosis. To schedule an appointment, call the office or book online today.
What is endometriosis?
Endometriosis is a common gynecological condition that causes pelvic pain and abnormal bleeding. It affects millions of women between the ages of 15-44, but is more commonly diagnosed when women are in their 30s and 40s.
With endometriosis, the endometrium normally found in the uterus is located on other organs in your body, such as your ovaries, fallopian tubes, and the outer portion of your uterus.
The endometrium is the tissue that grows in your uterus in anticipation of pregnancy that your body sheds every month during your period. When outside the womb, this tissue still grows and sheds in the same manner. However, the blood and tissue can’t exit your body.
Over time, the displaced endometrial growths cause inflammation, bloating, and adhesions that may lead to pain and scarring.
What are endometriosis symptoms?
Pelvic pain is the most common symptom of endometriosis. The pain may be chronic but worsen during menstruation. Other endometriosis symptoms include:
If you’re experiencing these symptoms, Philadelphia Women's Health & Wellness can help.
How is endometriosis diagnosed?
No single test can diagnose endometriosis. The women’s health experts at Philadelphia Women's Health & Wellness conduct comprehensive evaluations to rule out other causes of your symptoms to diagnose endometriosis.
During your exam, the team reviews your menstrual cycle, symptoms, gynecological and medical history, and family history. Then they perform a physical and pelvic exam.
Diagnostic tests like bloodwork and ultrasound may also be needed to confirm or rule out a diagnosis.
Though the team can often make a diagnosis after an exam and noninvasive testing, they may need to perform a laparoscopy. During the minimally invasive procedure, the team inserts a laparoscope (flexible surgical camera) through a small incision into your abdomen to evaluate the tissue in your pelvic area.
During your laparoscopy, the team may take tissue samples. However, if endometrium tissue growths are found, the team may remove the growths.
How is endometriosis treated?
The team at Philadelphia Women's Health & Wellness develops personalized treatment plans for endometriosis based on the severity of your symptoms.
Your treatment may include hormonal birth control or surgery to remove the growths.
Endometriosis is a common gynecological condition that causes symptoms that disrupt daily life. For expert care, contact Philadelphia Women's Health & Wellness by phone or online today.