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Have you been diagnosed with endometriosis? Do you suspect your unexplained pain and symptoms might be endometriosis? Whether or not you have been diagnosed or you suspect you have this condition, there are several things you need to know to help you partner with a skilled an knowledgeable surgeon to help you find a successful solution for you!

Endometriosis 101

Endometriosis is a very complex and often misunderstood medical condition that affects an estimated 10% of all women worldwide who are in their reproductive years. With endometriosis, tissue similar to the endometrial lining implants in various areas of the body though primarily in the pelvic region. More common locations for endometriosis lesions are the ovaries, fallopian tubes, peritoneum (pelvic side wall), outside of the uterus, cul-de-sac, bowel, bladder, rectum, appendix, ureters, and urterosacral ligaments. More rarely, other areas of the body can be affected from the vagina to the brain.

Most often, women with endometriosis complain of pain. While the pain can be cyclic, it can also occur throughout the month. Women with endometriosis may also have issues with pain during bowel movements (dyschezia), pain with intercourse (dyspareunia), pain with urination (dysuria), and pain before or during her menstrual cycle (dysmenorrhea). Pain from endometriosis can be mild to severe and the stage of endometriosis does not correlate with the severity of symptoms. Additionally, women with endometriosis can be asymptomatic.

Getting a Diagnosis

At this time, laparoscopy is the most definite way to diagnosis endometriosis. In general, endometriosis implants are too small to be seen on any type of imaging test and there are no blood tests to indicate its presence.

Keeping a symptom diary detailing your symptoms can help you and your doctor determine if a laparoscopy to diagnosis and possibly treat endometriosis would be appropriate.

Finding the Right Doctor

While many doctors know about and can to a degree treat endometriosis, it is critical that all women with this condition find the most knowledgeable and skilled surgeon she can. While currently there is no sub-specialty for endometriosis specialist, there are physicians who have taken a specialist interest in endometriosis and are thus considered an endometriosis specialist. They may be a gynecological surgeon, a reproductive endocrinologist, or maybe even a gynecological oncologist.

These specialists have extensive knowledge, training, and skills when it comes to treating this condition and often are able to offer higher success rates for their patients. They tend to be able to recognize more of the appearances of the implants, know where to look to find all of the implants, and use specialized surgical methods to more carefully eradicate the implants.

When interviewing a new doctor, the questions in this article may be helpful: What Questions Should I Ask?


Considering Your Treatment Options

The treatment options offered to you can depend on the skill and knowledge of your doctor and your specific symptoms. Your fertility concerns should also be taken into consideration. Treatment can range from pain medications to hormone therapy to surgery.

Pain medications can include over the counter pain medications, NSAID?s, or narcotics. These only treat the symptoms of endometriosis but do not treat the actual lesions.

Hormone therapy can include birth control pills, the Mirena IUD, GnRH-agonists, Danazol, or progesterone/progestin.

Surgical options include a laparoscopy for diagnosis and treatment, and in some cases a hysterectomy and/or oophorectomy though removal of the uterus and/or ovaries does not cure endometriosis.

From the Endometriosis Forums

is there an easier and cheaper way to be diagnosed with endometriosis
I had undiagnosed endometriosis for 27 years. Some was my fault because I dismissed the symptoms as normal, because some family members also had probl ..... [More]

HRT and endo?
Hi y’all I have a question for my fellow endo sufferers - I had my uterus, cervix, and left ovary removed due to severe endo 5 years ago. 2 years lat ..... [More]

Complete hysterectomy & BSO and still having pain
I had 4 surgeries for stage 4 endo between 2015-2020. I have no ovaries, Fallopian tubes, uterus or cervix. I have a constant pressure and Achiness in ..... [More]

Unknown mass on cecum - UPDATE, endometriosis
Hello , a CT Scan has found a 3cm mass on my cecum (where small intestine and colon meet) it could be endometriosis or it could be cancer. I have to ..... [More]

not sure if doctor communication breaking down
I have endometriosis and soon to be 6 years ago, had a total hysterectomy for it, however I suspect some remnants remain because of chronic pelvic pai ..... [More]

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Endometriosis Recurrence after Hysterectomy
Endometriosis vs. Adenomyosis
Excision of Endometriosis
Excision or Hysterectomy for Endometriosis?
Finding an Endometriosis Specialist
Health Risks with an Oophorectomy for Endometriosis
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Mirena IUD for Endometriosis
Must I Have an Oophorectomy If I Have Endometriosis?
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Pain Relief Options for Endometriosis
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Should I Keep My Ovaries or Not If I Have Endometriosis?
Symptom Diary for Endometriosis
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What Causes Endometriosis?
What Is Endometriosis and How Do I Treat It?
What Questions Should I Ask an Endometriosis Specialist?
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Endometriosis Videos

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Page Created at 07-19-2012 - 12:02 AM, Last Modified 12-16-2016 - 03:13 PM
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