Endometriosis affects millions of women, causing pain, heavy periods, severe cramping, and other problematic symptoms. While there’s no cure for endometriosis, at Darin Swainston MD. FACOG in Las Vegas, Nevada, our board-certified OB/GYN providers offer effective solutions for managing your condition.
Here’s a closer look at what’s involved with endometriosis, what happens when the condition goes untreated, and the ways we can help.
Your endometrium (lining of your uterus) gets ready for pregnancy every month, whether or not you’re trying to get pregnant. In a normal cycle, the lining sheds as your period when you don’t conceive. The endometrium builds up again once your period ends.
When you have endometriosis, this tissue also grows outside your womb on other reproductive organs, like your ovaries, and throughout your abdominal and pelvic cavity. It can form on your intestines, appendix, bladder, and even spread to other regions of your body.
Unfortunately, when your period arrives, this misplaced tissue has nowhere to go. It can’t leave your body like the lining of your uterus does. But it keeps trying, which can cause lesions, irritation, scar tissue, cysts, and more.
The symptoms associated with endometriosis vary in severity between women. Two of the most common signs of the disease are severe menstrual cramps and chronic pelvic pain. Endometriosis can also trigger:
- Heavy or abnormal bleeding
- Nausea and stomach discomfort
- Fatigue and low energy
- Urinary or bowel symptoms
- Pain during sex
This progressive disease can also lead to difficulty conceiving and fertility issues. If you’re experiencing any signs of endometriosis, it’s best to seek medical attention by scheduling an appointment with your Darin Swainston MD. FACOG provider as soon as possible to avoid complications.
When endometriosis isn’t treated
There’s no cure for endometriosis, and your condition won’t resolve on its own. For many women who don’t seek treatment, the symptoms associated with endometriosis get worse.
Even more concerning than the pain, heavy bleeding, and life-interrupting symptoms endometriosis causes, are the additional complications that can arise when the condition isn’t treated, including:
- Infertility (endometriosis is one of the top causes of female infertility)
- Ovarian cysts and adhesions
- Bladder and/or bowel problems (including bowel obstruction)
- Increased pelvic infections
Recent research has shown women with untreated endometriosis may have a higher risk of developing ovarian cancer.
How we treat endometriosis
Hormonal medications and different forms of birth control, including IUDs, can sometimes help. At Darin Swainston MD. FACOG, our providers create a personalized treatment plan for each woman’s endometriosis based on factors specific to you, including:
- Your medical history and current overall health
- Current endometriosis symptoms
- Severity and extent of your condition
- Tolerance and preference for certain medications, therapies, or procedures
- Goals for treatment (e.g., avoiding infertility; ending pelvic pain)
- Whether you plan to have children in the future
Our practice specializes in the most advanced robotic-assisted surgeries to help manage and treat moderate to severe endometriosis. These surgeries can help minimize problematic symptoms while helping preserve your fertility.
For women who aren’t planning future pregnancies, your Darin Swainston MD. FACOG providers may recommend robotic-assisted hysterectomy. This procedure eliminates the source of your endometriosis, ending your symptoms for good.
Learn more about endometriosis and the treatment options available by scheduling an appointment online or over the phone at Darin Swainston MD. FACOG in Las Vegas, Nevada.