Endometriosis is when cells from the lining of the uterus grows outside the uterus. In some women, this causes debilitating pain, heavy and irregular periods, and can be a factor in infertility. Other symptoms of endometriosis may include:
There are different stages of endometriosis, ranging from mild to severe. The stage of endometriosis is based on the location, amount, depth, and size of the endometrial implants. Endometriosis is most often found in the ovaries, but can also be found in other places, including:
Occasionally, the implants are found in other places like the intestines and bladder.
A diagnosis of endometriosis can be made by history and physical exam. However, a definitive diagnosis is most often given after a laparoscopy, a minor procedure during which a doctor inserts a tiny camera in the abdomen to look for evidence of endometriosis implants. Other helpful procedures may include an ultrasound, CT or MRI imaging.
In general, treatment for endometriosis may include a period of observation, pain medications, or hormonal therapies. Surgical techniques that may be used to treat endometriosis include:
If you have endometriosis, Dr. Brown will recommend a course of treatment that is best for you.