For generations, women have expected and accepted monthly pain and excessive bleeding as part of being a woman. But your regular menstruations shouldn’t knock you out every month. Your discomfort should be minimal, with the worst part lasting only a day or two. When symptoms get much worse, talk to your Queens gynecologist at the Medex Diagnostic and Treatment Center about it. It’s possible you have a treatable condition called endometriosis. There isn’t a lot you can do to prevent it, but you certainly can learn to manage the symptoms and even reduce or eliminate them altogether. Call today for an appointment.

Endometriosis is a condition that affects more than 10 percent of women between the ages of 15 and 44. It occurs when tissue similar to the lining of the uterus grows outside the uterus. Endometrial tissue outside the uterus causes pain, which is sometimes severe. Endometriosis impairs your reproductive organs, such as the ovaries, fallopian tubes and the outer surface of the uterus.

While you can’t completely prevent this condition, you can lower your risk of developing it by exercising regularly, limiting alcohol and caffeine intake and lowering the levels of estrogen in your body. Talk to the top gynecologist at the Medex Diagnostic and Treatment Center in Queens, New York about hormonal methods of lowering your estrogen levels.

Symptoms of Endometriosis

The most common symptom of endometriosis is pelvic pain. A condition known as dysmenorrhea, it may cause increasingly uncomfortable menstrual periods. The severity of your pain isn’t necessarily consistent with the severity of your condition. You need a complete, thorough pelvic exam to allow your gynecologist to make that determination.

Infertility is sometimes the first sign of endometriosis. You may not discover the condition until you seek answers from a doctor about your inability to get pregnant. You may also experience a general overall sense of being unwell, especially during your period. This may include excessive bloating and fatigue. You may also experience other bothersome symptoms when you have endometriosis, such as:

What Causes Endometriosis?

The cause of endometriosis isn’t known for sure. Your body sloughs off blood cells every month; sometimes, it’s heavier than others. Some factors that are thought to be possible causes include:

An immune system disorder such as fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue sometimes makes it harder for your body to recognize and destroy tissue that’s growing outside the uterus. Chemical sensitivities, allergies and cancers, like ovarian cancer and breast cancer, have been linked to women with a family history of endometriosis. Seek early intervention when you experience any endometriosis symptoms.

Diagnosing Endometriosis

Your Queens doctor may be able to diagnose endometriosis during a pelvic exam if cysts have formed on reproductive organs. Imaging tests such as an ultrasound or an MRI confirm the cysts exist. Otherwise, your Medex gynecologist may ask you to keep track of your symptoms, especially if they only occur during your monthly menstrual cycle. A detailed history helps your doctor correctly diagnose your problem and get you the most effective treatment.

Another diagnostic test your gynecologist may perform is a laparoscopy. This test is a minimally invasive surgical procedure. Your doctor makes a tiny incision to insert a small camera to identify cysts or confirm the size and location of endometrial tissue outside the uterus.

How Is Endometriosis Treated?

Treatment of endometriosis usually begins with a conservative approach, such as recommending over-the-counter pain medication. Hormone therapy reduces pain and slows the growth of endometrial tissue. As a last resort, surgery is recommended if your symptoms are severe enough.

Laparoscopic surgery is a minimally invasive technique used to remove endometrial tissue. If you’re experiencing severe pain that doesn’t respond to more conservative treatment, your doctor may suggest a hysterectomy. Since this is surgery to remove your uterus and possibly the ovaries, it’s not a decision to take lightly.

Take Care of Your Gynecological Health

Don’t ignore symptoms of pelvic or abdominal discomfort that persists. Untreated endometriosis leads to inflammation, infertility or an increased risk of ovarian cysts or ovarian cancer. Talk to your doctor if you have any of the symptoms associated with endometriosis.

Early diagnosis and treatment by a talented gynecologist results successfully managed symptoms, since there is no cure for the condition. The Medex Diagnostic and Treatment Center is a multi-specialty practice that includes primary care physicians who specialize in gynecology and other areas of medicine. Contact your gynecology specialist  in Queens today for an appointment and evaluation.

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