Endometriosis is a condition that is present when the tissue that lines the inside of the uterus (endometrium) starts to grow outside of the uterus. Along with causing severe pain in the pelvis and abdomen areas, endometriosis may also cause the formation of scar tissue, cysts, and adhesions on or around the ovaries. This occurs because during menstruation, the tissue that has developed on the outside of the uterus becomes trapped and has nowhere to exit the body. Though the cause of endometriosis may not always be able to be identified, our team of skilled OB/GYNs at Women’s Health at Valley View works with women to properly diagnose and treat endometriosis through various procedure options. Contact us in Glenwood Springs, Basalt, or Silt, CO to learn more and to schedule a consultation with one of our board-certified professionals.
Symptoms of Endometriosis
There are several symptoms that are linked to endometriosis that can help lead to a proper diagnosis, including:
- Abnormally painful menstrual periods
- Pain during or after intercourse
- Painful bowel movements or urination
- Heavy or excessive bleeding during menstruation
Though the only way to get an accurate diagnose of endometriosis is through a diagnostic laparoscopic surgical procedure, there are a few other noninvasive tests that can be conducted if it suspected that you may have endometriosis, such as:
- A pelvic exam: In this exam, one of our OB/GYN specialists will manually feel around your pelvic area in order to detect any abnormalities, including cysts. Typically, endometriosis may only be suspected during a pelvic exam if one of the abnormalities is currently present.
- An ultrasound: For this test, the ultrasound may be conducted on your abdomen or as a transvaginal ultrasound. This allows for a better image of your reproductive organs. Similar to the pelvic exam, it can only identify existing abnormalities and cannot conclusively diagnose endometriosis.
- An MRI: Using radio waves and a magnetic field, an MRI may be utilized for surgical planning and provide information about the overall location and size of endometrial implants.
- Laparoscopic surgery: During this procedure, a small incision is made near the belly button and a laparoscope is inserted in order to evaluate any abnormal tissue grown outside of the uterus. A sample of the tissue may be taken as a biopsy, and in many cases, surgical treatment can be administered at the same time as the diagnosis.
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Effective in helping to slow the growth of endometrial tissue, hormone-balancing medications come in various forms. Some of the most common include birth control pills, patches, vaginal rings, and intrauterine devices. During a thorough consultation, our team of OB/GYNs will be able to determine which form of hormone treatment may be ideal for you and your needs in order to relieve the symptoms of endometriosis.
Endometrial ablation is a procedure that works to destroy the endometrium that has developed outside of the uterus. With no necessary incisions, a small device is inserted through the vagina and various methods may be used to ablate the tissue, including radiofrequency energy, extreme cold, heated fluids, or microwave energy.
During a laparoscopic procedure, as much of the endometrial tissue is removed as possible. Through a small incision, only the tissue in the uterus is targeted and both the uterus and ovaries are preserved.
What to Expect
Prior to recommending any form of treatment, our experienced team at Women's Health at Valley View will conduct the appropriate diagnostic testing and provide a thorough examination. Typically, less invasive treatments will be prescribed before a surgical option is recommended. Our team will also be available to answer any questions you may have before, during, or after your treatment process to ensure that you are comfortable and thoroughly understand your procedure options.
Live Without Pain
Endometriosis can be extremely painful and affect your overall quality of life. At Women's Health at Valley View, we can offer both diagnostic testing and treatment to help eradicate the unpleasant symptoms associated with this condition. To learn more, we invite you to contact one of our Colorado locations to schedule a consultation with one of our board-certified OB/GYNs.