Endometriosis, a common disorder that affects women’s reproductive systems, occurs when the lining of tissue inside the uterus (endometrium) grows outside. Although the condition may cause no symptoms in some cases, pain and heavy periods develop in others. Some other symptoms include fatigue, mood changes, and pain during sex. Endometriosis can seriously affect a woman’s life, causing pelvic pain, infertility, or both. The only way to diagnose it is through surgery. However, a doctor specializing in endometriosis at Boynton Beach can recommend a variety of methods to manage the symptoms of the condition. Here are some treatment options.
When all other treatments have failed, hysterectomy may be the only option left. Simply put, it is a surgical procedure in which a woman’s uterus is removed. This can be done through an abdominal incision or laparoscopically, where the surgeon will use special instruments to remove it. Doctors should not offer this treatment option to women of childbearing age without first trying other possibilities.
2. Hormone Therapy
One of the most effective ways to manage the symptoms of endometriosis is with hormone therapy. This type of treatment uses hormones, either progestins or combined oral contraceptives, to replace the growth of cells outside the uterus. It relieves pelvic pain and stops periods in some women.
Some of the benefits of hormone therapy for endometriosis are that it can help reduce the risk of developing osteoporosis, reduce irritation, and control acne. It has several side effects, which include nausea, breast swelling or tenderness, headache, insomnia, mood changes, and weight gain.
In cases where symptoms of endometriosis include severe pelvic pain, a procedure called laparoscopy may be used to treat it. This is a minimally invasive surgery that allows a doctor to look inside the abdomen and pelvis using a thin tube equipped with a light and camera (laparoscope).
The surgeon makes a small incision near or through the navel and inserts a laparoscope during this procedure. They then use instruments specially designed for endometriosis surgery, such as those that remove endometrial tissue and adhesions, to help control pain and restore fertility.
Medications prescribed to a woman with endometriosis include hormonal therapy and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as naproxen. NSAIDs block chemicals in the body that cause pain, fever, and inflammation. This medicine is used to treat menstrual cramps, headache and other aches or pains.
In some cases, a woman with severe pain may be offered narcotic drugs such as codeine to reduce pain until the endometriosis responds to other treatments. While opioids can help relieve pain, they can also have serious side effects and can lead to addiction if misused.
5. Diet Changes
Changing your diet may help ease some symptoms of endometriosis. Eating healthy can reduce bloating, cramps, fatigue and irritability associated with menstruation. Some research suggests that specific foods may be associated with the condition, but more studies are needed to determine the relationship.
Reducing caffeine and alcohol can help reduce abdominal pain. In addition, losing excess weight or maintaining a healthy weight can improve fertility and reduce the pain of endometriosis.
In short, endometriosis is a condition in which cells from the lining of the uterus grow in other parts of the body. However, various treatment options can help control symptoms and restore fertility, such as hormone therapy and medication. In some cases where women have severe pelvic pain that does not respond to other treatments, surgery may be recommended.