Daniel Rostein, MD, FACOG is a Gynecologist and Infertility Specialist specializing in minimally invasive surgery for diseases like endometriosis. The practice has locations in Oak Brook, IL.
Endometriosis is a disease that causes abnormal growth of uterine tissue in other parts of the body. This tissue can eventually become lesions, adhesions, or tumors. The growths often cause pain and may cause fertility issues. Endometriosis is typically found within the lower abdomen but can appear anywhere in the body. Women with endometriosis often experience lower abdominal pain, painful periods, or pain with sexual intercourse, and may report having a hard time getting pregnant.
Endometriosis is a disease that impacts women during their reproductive lifetime. Up to 15 percent of all women suffer from this condition during their childbearing years. It appears that genetic factors do play a role in the development of endometriosis. If your grandmother and mother suffered from it, your chances of having endometriosis are higher.
Every case of endometriosis can be just as unique as the patient. The approach to treatment will depend on whether the patient is in pain (sometimes, endometriosis does not cause significant pain,) whether the patient is experiencing infertility, and whether other diseases are present. Pain medications can help control the pain of endometriosis, but they are not a long-term solution for most patients. Hormone therapy can help reduce the growth of new endometrial tissue, and in turn, can reduce or even prevent pain associated with endometriosis.
There may be cases where medications and hormone therapy are ineffective. In such situations, surgery performed laparoscopically can remove a significant portion of the endometrial growths. Laparoscopic surgery preserves fertility since it doesn't require removal of the ovaries, fallopian tubes, or uterus. In very severe cases of endometriosis, a hysterectomy can be performed, but this is typically only done for women who are done having children or who don't want to have children.
Most women who suffer from endometriosis can live a completely normal life, including having children if desired, with the proper treatment.
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