Do I have endometriosis?

Endometriosis is common. The most common symptom of endometriosis is pain. Pain arises from the irritation of pelvic tissues (uterus, rectum, ovaries, tubes, bladder) which arises from the secretion of chemicals from the implants of endometriosis. How does it start? There are genetic predispositions, and possibly some increased risk in redheads. The most common an most easily understood explanation is that most women have retrograde (back through the tubes) menstruation. This menstrual blood contains living endometrial cells from the inside lining of the uterus. These cells implant and grow in the areas around and behind the uterus. Initially they may appear clear, but eventually take on a blue-black "powder burn" appearance. They make your pelvis sore. These implants respond to your monthly hormonal changes as the inside of your uterus does. The result is cramp pain, often radiating to the back or to one side. Cysts of endometriosis can occur in the ovary and are called endometriomas. Since the pelvis is sore, intercourse often is painful, especially around your period. Pain often occurs at ovulation as well. Mild endometriosis may be more painful than advanced endometriosis. Eventually scar tissue forms between the tubes, ovaries, pelvic sidewalls, rectum and uterus. Many times it seems like someone poured glue into the pelvis. At this stage infertility is common. In early stages there seems to be little effect on fertility. Some women are more able to destroy the endometrial cells in the retrograde menstrual blood. These people often do not develop endometriosis. With others whose immune functioning is different endometriosis may begin to develop in the teen age years. Treatment options are covered in another question listed at the web page.

Patient Education

Pregnant! What not to eat.

You have probably heard that there are foods that should be avoided during pregnancy. Most of the restrictions are directed at avoiding mercury which has gotten concentrated in fish. The fish to be avoided are the predatory fish from the ocean, and include tuna, shark, mackerel, and salmon. In fact, most fish should... Read More

Abnormal Pap Smear - Now What?

Many women will have an abnormal pap smear result at some point in their life. If you have had an abnormal pap smear, you will generally need to have a follow up pap smear within 6 months.  Potential results of a follow up pap smear are: - Your follow up pap smear... Read More

Essure Tubal Sterilization

There has been a good bit of advertising recently about the Essure method of tubal sterilization. Essure is not new, and has been on the market for a number of years. The Essure method of sterilization  requires placement of a device in each tubal opening, where it opens into the... Read More

Mirena IUD

Mirena IUD's are plastic devices that fit inside your uterus and provide contraception. They have several advantages. First they are very effective with greater than 99% prevention of pregnancy.  The stem of the Mirena contains levonorgestrel, a part of many popular birth control pills. Second, once inserted, they are almost... Read More

American College of ObGYN Patient Information Website

The American College of ObGYN (ACOG) is the governing body for ObGYN doctors in America. They have created a very informative and helpful patient information page that covers a wide variety of topics for patients. If you have any questions about women's health, this website is a great resource. If... Read More

Influenza

Pregnant women are more likely to get seriously ill from the flu. Get your flu shot.   You should get vaccinated as soon as you finish the first trimester. (12 weeks). You will not get the flu from a flu shot. Any side effects you get are generally limited to soreness... Read More

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