According to the Endometriosis Foundation of America, 1 in 10 women in the United States suffer from endometriosis, and it affects more than 175 million women worldwide. Although symptoms typically appear during the reproductive years, many women remain undiagnosed throughout the duration of their lives.
The specific cause of endometriosis is unknown, and although researchers have devised various theories, there is still no cure; however, with treatment, doctors can reduce the associated pain and increase a patient’s fertility. The most common symptoms of endometriosis include pelvic discomfort, which often coincides with menstruation, as well as cramps, lengthy periods with heavy flow, and pain during intercourse.
If you think you might be suffering from endometriosis and would like to discuss your options with an expert, turn to Women’s Pelvic Surgery of North Jersey, LLC. Call 201-301-2772 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Khashayar Shakiba.
What are the different treatment options for endometriosis?
There are several ways to treat the symptoms of endometriosis. Your gynecologist will determine the best approach by taking into account your age, the severity of your symptoms and whether you plan to have children in the future.
There are three main ways to treat the most debilitating symptoms of endometriosis:
According to the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, pain medication is most effective for women whose symptoms are fairly mild. Some women need little more than over-the-counter pain relievers while others must take powerful, prescription-strength medication. Women suffering from endometriosis typically take either non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication or opioids.
Many women find hormone therapy to be an effective way to treat their endometriosis. Imbalanced hormones can affect the severity of symptoms, as well as the body’s own perception of pain.
There are various ways to administer hormone therapy. Depending on your particular situation, your gynecologist may recommend a pill, injection or nasal spray.
Because hormone therapy prevents the ovaries from producing estrogen and halts ovulation, it can also slow down the growth of the endometrium, as well as any endometrial lesions. Oral contraceptives, progesterone and gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists are all possible hormone treatments for endometriosis.
Researchers have found that some surgical procedures can provide significant relief for severe pain caused by endometriosis. During a laparoscopy, for example, a surgeon inserts a laparoscope into the abdomen to assess the endometrial growths and to excise them.
It is also common for the surgeon to remove scar tissue during a laparoscopy because such tissue may be contributing to the pain. The ultimate goal of the procedure is to treat the endometriosis without harming any of the healthy surrounding tissue.
A laparotomy is another surgical option for treating the condition but is typically a last resort because it is a major surgical procedure. Depending on the patient’s condition, the surgeon may also perform a hysterectomy during a laparotomy.
If you are suffering from endometriosis, you can learn more about the potential treatment options from Dr. Shakiba, a board-certified uro/gynecologist at Women’s Pelvic Surgery of North Jersey, LLC. To discuss your health concerns with an expert, call 201-301-2772 today to schedule your appointment.