Our fertility doctors highlight the common signs of endometriosis
At the Southern California Center for Reproductive Medicine, we diagnose and treat the causes of female infertility. During March, which is Endometriosis Awareness Month, we focus on helping patients identify signs of endometriosis and understand how this condition can contribute to female infertility. Our Newport Beach fertility doctors want to educate patients on this often-painful condition, which affects an estimated 176 million women worldwide.
The basics of endometriosis
When endometriosis develops, tissue that is similar to the uterine lining grows outside of the uterus. Typically, it attaches to other reproductive organs, such as the fallopian tubes, ovaries, intestines and pelvic cavity.
Issues arise because the endometrial-like tissue thickens, breaks down and bleeds as it would in the uterus. However, it has no way to exit the body. Without treatment, endometriosis can lead to female infertility and difficulty getting pregnant.
Typical symptoms and signs of endometriosis
Conservative estimates suggest that about 10% of all women have endometriosis during their reproductive years. The most common symptom of endometriosis is pelvic pain, usually at a more intense level than regular menstrual cramps. However, pain level does not directly correlate to the severity of the endometriosis. The following symptoms are other signs of endometriosis.
- Pain during sexual intercourse.
- Pain with urination or bowel movements.
- Unusually heavy cycles and/or irregular bleeding.
- Nausea and diarrhea.
- Lower back pain.
- Failure to conceive.
Diagnosing and treating endometriosis
Unfortunately, no simple test exists to confirm endometriosis. If our Newport Beach fertility doctors suspect endometriosis, we may recommend a physical exam, ultrasound or even minimally invasive surgery to confirm the diagnosis. Hormone therapy may lessen the symptoms and help control the condition during the time when patients are not trying to conceive. However, the most effective treatment is often surgically removing the overgrown tissue.
Our entire team offers top-notch treatment and compassionate care. We provide advanced fertility treatment so that our patients can experience optimal wellbeing and have the family they desire. Contact us for more information about the signs of endometriosis or to schedule an appointment.