Endometriosis is known for one primary symptom: chronic pelvic pain. But the pain isn't the only challenge. About 30-50% of women with endometriosis also face infertility. Jeffrey Kotzen, MD, at Distinctive Women's Health Care specializes in endometriosis treatment, including minimally-invasive laparoscopic surgery to remove patches of endometriosis and infertility treatments to help you become pregnant. If you experience pelvic pain or have questions about endometriosis, call the office in West Palm Beach, Florida, or book an appointment online.
Endometriosis develops when tissue that lines the inside of your uterus, the endometrium, begins to grow outside the uterus. This growth typically occurs in fallopian tubes, ovaries, and the outer wall of your uterus, but it can also happen throughout your pelvic cavity.
The endometrium is the tissue that responds to hormones and goes through changes during your monthly menstrual cycle. It prepares to nurture a fertilized egg; then, if you don’t become pregnant, the endometrium is shed, causing menstrual bleeding.
When the same tissue grows outside your uterus, it continues to go through the same monthly cycle. As endometriosis bleeds into your pelvic area, it causes inflammation and scarring that damages the surrounding tissues.
Many women with endometriosis don’t have symptoms. The most common symptom, however, is ongoing pelvic pain. You may experience pain:
Endometriosis is one of the top causes of infertility, as 24-50% of infertile women have it.
The only way to diagnose endometriosis is through laparoscopy. During this minimally-invasive procedure, Dr. Kotzen at Distinctive Women's Health Care can visually examine tissues in your pelvic cavity and perform a biopsy of abnormal tissues, if necessary.
Treatment depends on the severity and extent of the endometriosis, as well as whether or not you plan to have children. Your treatment may include:
Several hormone-containing medications, including birth control pills, slow the growth of endometrial tissue and help prevent new adhesions from forming.
Another medication, a gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist, temporarily stops your menstrual cycle, which controls the growth of endometriosis. You can only use this medication for a short time due to side effects, though.
None of these medications, however, get rid of existing patches of endometriosis.
Surgery is the only way to remove endometriosis. Dr. Kotzen specializes in minimally-invasive laparoscopic surgery, which removes patches of endometriosis. This type of surgery only requires a small incision to accommodate the long, narrow laparoscope, so scarring and recovery time is minimal.
Dr. Kotzen is a Concierge Medicine Doctor and OB/GYN located in West Palm Beach, FL, 33401. Call us to book your appointment today.