The Doctor is In:Help for pelvic pain, infertility

A
common gynecologic condition that affects women of childbearing age isendometriosis.
This disease occurs when the tissue on the inside lining of the uterus, the
endometrium, grows abnormally on the ovaries, fallopian tubes, the bladder, or
other organs. Although the abnormally growing endometrial tissue still responds
to the hormonal changes that occur throughout a woman’s monthly menstrual
cycle, the body is unable to shed this tissue like it does the uterine lining.
The tissue instead builds up inside the pelvis or in the abdominal cavity. This
causes internal bleeding and, over time, can lead to the formation of scar
tissue, cysts, and tumors (usually benign).

Endometriosis
is a painful condition for many, but not all, women with the disease. It can
cause extreme menstrual cramps and sometimes pain during intercourse, or while
urinating or having a bowel movement. In many cases, women are diagnosed with
endometriosis after they have been unable to conceive a baby. According to theNational Institute of Child Health
and Human Development
,
between 30 percent and 40 percent of women with endometriosis struggle with
infertility.

In
addition to female infertility, there may be a potential link between having
endometriosis and developing ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease, according
to results of along-term study
recently reported by researchers in Denmark. Fatigue and excessive or heavy
menstrual flow are some other signs that may point to the possibility of
endometriosis.

The
medical community is not certain what triggers uterine tissue to grow
abnormally, but doctors can treat the pain and infertility that the disease can
cause. To make a diagnosis, doctors will evaluate your medical history and
perform a comprehensive medical evaluation, including a pelvic exam. If
endometriosis is suspected, you may need to see a specialist for further
evaluation. The current standard of care is for doctors to perform laparoscopy,
a minimally invasive outpatient surgical procedure, to check for the presence
of endometrial growths or scar tissue in the pelvic region.

March is
Endometriosis Awareness Month. To connect with other women who are living with
this disease, check out the Endometriosis Association’sFacebook page
andconsumer
website
.In
addition, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine has published this
patient fact sheet,“Endometriosis
and Infertility: Can Surgery Help?”

* Joshua Feinberg, D.O., is a family medicine physician
in practice at the Crozer Health Pavilion, 145 Brinton Lake
Road, Suite 201, Glen Mills
, PA 19342, 610-459-1619

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About Crozer Keystone Staff

Crozer-Keystone Health System’s physicians, specialists and advanced practitioners are committed to improving the health of our community through patient-centered, quality care across a full continuum of health services. Crozer Brinton Lake is Crozer-Keystone’s comprehensive outpatient care facility in western Delaware County, offering primary care, specialty services, outpatient surgery and advanced cancer treatment. Contact us: 300 Evergreen Drive, Glen Mills, PA 19342 http://www.crozerkeystone.org/Brinton-Lake 1-855-254-7425

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