Painful periods, chronic abdominal pain, and heavy bleeding could be signs of endometriosis, a condition that can also affect your fertility. If you have any of these symptoms, the expert team at Dr. Gregory Shifrin, OB/GYN PC in New York can help. They offer an effective range of treatment options for endometriosis, including ways to preserve your fertility, at their offices in the Midwood neighborhood of Brooklyn and the Upper East Side of Manhattan in New York City. Call the location nearest you or use online booking to schedule a consultation today.
Endometriosis is a condition affecting the endometrium, the tissue that lines the inside of your uterus.
When you have your period, the blood and tissue you expel are the remains of the endometrium, which breaks down every month unless conception occurs. This process is part of a healthy menstrual cycle.
If you have endometriosis, it means patches or implants of endometrial tissue are present outside your uterus.
Places these implants can grow include the outer surfaces of your bladder, uterus, ureters, intestines, and rectum. They can also grow on your:
Just like the endometrial tissue inside your uterus, these implants bleed and break down when you have your period. The blood and tissue don't have any way of exiting your body, so they stay where they are and irritate the surrounding tissues.
Over time, this process can lead to scarring or adhesions. In some cases, adhesions cause organs and tissues to stick to one another.
While some women are unaware they have this condition, for others, endometriosis causes severe and disabling pain. Other symptoms include:
You could have just one or two of these symptoms, or you might have most or all of them. The severity of symptoms varies, too, so each woman's experience of endometriosis is very different.
If your endometriosis is mild, taking over-the-counter pain medication might be all you need. If you can't manage your symptoms this way, your provider at Dr. Gregory Shifrin, OB/GYN PC might suggest hormone therapy.
Hormonal birth control methods can help reduce bleeding and pain during menstruation. Alternatively, gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists (GnRH) might help. Many women find hormone therapy relieves their symptoms, and it has the advantage of not having any permanent effect on your fertility.
If conservative treatments for endometriosis don’t help, you might need surgery. Your provider at Dr. Gregory Shifrin, OB/GYN PC uses minimally invasive laparoscopic techniques to remove endometrial implants.
Surgery should relieve your symptoms, especially if you take hormone therapy as well. However, endometriosis pain can come back after a couple of years.
If your symptoms are severe and other treatments aren't working, you might need a hysterectomy to remove your uterus. This works best if your surgeon removes your ovaries as well.
If you're experiencing symptoms of endometriosis, call Dr. Gregory Shifrin, OB/GYN PC or book an appointment online today.