What is endometriosis?
Endometriosis affects 10-15% of women during their reproductive years. Some women won’t have symptoms, while others develop chronic pelvic pain. One fact is common though; they’re all at risk for infertility. Noreen Kamal-Mostafavi, MD, in Staten Island, New York, has treated many women with endometriosis, helping them overcome their symptoms and improve their fertility. If you need skilled care for endometriosis, schedule an appointment online or call the office today.
Endometriosis develops when tissue from inside your uterus, called the endometrium, gets outside the uterine cavity and grows on your ovaries, fallopian tubes, the outer wall of the uterus, and other structures. Medical experts believe that endometriosis may develop when a small amount of menstrual blood goes out through the fallopian tubes and into the abdominal cavity.
What symptoms develop due to endometriosis?
Inside your uterus, the endometrium thickens during each monthly cycle, preparing to nurture an embryo. If an egg isn’t fertilized that month, the lining sheds, causing bleeding that becomes your menstrual period.
Patches of endometriosis change each month just as if they were still inside your uterus. The tissues that form endometriosis thicken and break down, but the blood stays inside your abdominal cavity. This regular monthly bleeding causes inflammation and scarring.
If you have symptoms, you might experience:
- Pelvic pain
- Pain during intercourse
- Painful periods
- Abdominal pain a week before your period
- Pain during urination or bowel movements
You may also have heavy menstrual periods or periods that are longer than normal.
How does endometriosis affect my fertility?
Endometriosis is one of the top causes of infertility, affecting about 30-50% of women diagnosed. There are numerous ways that endometriosis can lead to infertility. For example, scarring and inflammation may block the fallopian tubes, prevent ovulation, or distort the shape of your uterus.
How is endometriosis treated?
Dr. Kamal-Mostafavi recommends individualized treatment based on the severity of your symptoms, the extent of your endometriosis, and whether you plan to have children. The first line of treatment is medication. Dr. Kamal-Mostafavi may prescribe one of several medications that slow the growth of new endometriosis, stop your periods, or diminish the existing patches.
If you plan to get pregnant or your symptoms are severe, Dr. Kamal-Mostafavi may recommend minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery to remove the areas of endometriosis. She performs laparoscopic surgery using slender instruments inserted through a few small abdominal incisions.
The smaller incisions used for the minimally invasive procedure cause less trauma compared to open surgery. As a result, patients have less postoperative pain, minimal blood loss, and a quicker recovery.
If you suffer with pelvic pain or heavy menstrual bleeding, call Dr. Kamal-Mostafavi, or schedule an appointment online.