Endometriosis

Endometriosis Specialists
Endometriosis is a disorder in which tissue that normally lines the uterus grows outside the uterus. It can cause pain and discomfort. Women in the Oakland and Alameda, California area can find treatment for endometriosis at East Bay Women’s Health.

Endometriosis Q & A

What is endometriosis?

Endometriosis is a chronic condition where the uterine lining tissue develops outside the uterus. The tissue may have grown on the ovaries or fallopian tubes, the outer wall of the uterus, the intestines, or other organs in the belly. Sometimes, in rare cases, they spread to areas beyond the belly. With each menstrual cycle, these tissues go through the same growing, breaking down, and bleeding that the uterine lining goes through. When this happens, endometriosis pain starts as a mild discomfort for a few days before the menstrual period and then usually is gone by the time the period ends. If an implant grows in a sensitive area, it can cause constant pain or pain during certain activities, such as sex, exercise, or bowel movements.

What causes endometriosis?

Some possible causes of endometriosis include the following:

  • The immune system may not be properly expelling endometrial cells outside of the uterus.
  • Heavy bleeding or an abnormal structure of the uterus, cervix, or vagina causes too many endometrial cells to go up through the fallopian tubes and then into the belly.
  • Blood or lymph fluid carries endometrial cells to other parts of the body.
  • Cells are moved during a surgery, such as an episiotomy or a cesarean delivery.
  • Cells in the belly and pelvis may change into endometrial cells.
  • Endometrial cells may have formed outside the uterus when the patient was a fetus.
  • It may be passed down through families.

What treatments are available?

Treatment for endometriosis focuses on stopping the painful symptoms and preventing infertility. The treatment options will depend on how severe the symptoms are and whether the patient wants to get pregnant. If the only symptom is pain, hormone therapy to lower the body's estrogen levels can be used to reduce it. If pregnancy is an issue, surgery, infertility treatment, or both may be necessary. Treatment is a personal decision that should be discussed with the doctor.

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