Nearly 10% of women and girls suffer from endometriosis and it is one of the top 3 causes of infertility. Typically endometriosis is a disease that is widely undertreated and the diagnoses can be delayed up to 10 years.
What is Endometriosis?
Endometriosis is when the uterine lining abnormally implants in areas outside of the uterus. Endometriosis can cause symptoms like painful periods, pain with sexual activity, and gastrointestinal and urinary tract difficulties. Often, these symptoms are more problematic just before or during periods.
Symptoms of Endometriosis
Symptoms of endometriosis include the following:
- Painful menstrual cycles/periods
- Pain during intercourse
- Pain with bowel movements
- Heavy menstrual flow
- Bloating, diarrhea, constipation
- Chronic pain
If undiagnosed for a long time, additional symptoms can include:
- Pelvic floor dysfunction
- Interstitial cystitis/PBS
- Small intestinal bowel overgrowth
Endometriosis Treatment & Management Options
Treatment depends on the goals of the patient and generally starts with medical management to control pain and inflammation. When patients have infertility or poor response to medications, surgery can help.
When surgery is required, we offer endometriosis resections with minimally invasive procedures. This offers the following benefits to your care and recovery:
- Quicker recovery
- Less adhesion formation
- Less post-op pain and less time in the hospital
- Earlier return to work
However, surgery with endometriosis can be complicated by adhesions to the bowel or involvement of the bladder. At UI Health we have ultrasound technicians trained in specialized ultrasound to determine before surgery if involvement of the bowel is present. We work closely with colorectal surgeons in our Pelvic Health Center, who will provide consultations before surgery, discussing the risks and benefits of surgical resection.