Approximately 10% of women have endometriosis during their reproductive years. At Melissa Grier, MD Women’s Healthcare in Pasadena, California, Dr. Grier is experienced in diagnosing and treating endometriosis. She offers a variety of treatments, such as medication and minimally invasive surgery. If you have severe pelvic pain or other signs of endometriosis, call the office or schedule a consultation online today.
Endometriosis is a women's reproductive health issue that causes endometrium — the tissue that lines your uterus every month — to grow on other organs outside of your womb. It usually affects other organs in your pelvic area, including your ovaries, fallopian tubes, bladder, and bowel.
Medical researchers haven't identified a specific cause for endometriosis. Your endometriosis risk increases if you have a family history of endometriosis, reproductive tract abnormalities, or elevated estrogen levels.
Pain is the hallmark symptom of endometriosis. The disease causes severe menstrual cramping, pelvic pain throughout the month, and painful intercourse. You might also experience pain when you urinate or have a bowel movement.
Other signs of endometriosis include:
Endometriosis can also interfere with your fertility. The abnormal endometrium and related scarring can interfere with ovulation or block your fallopian tubes.
Dr. Grier diagnoses endometriosis with a thorough exam, diagnostic imaging studies, and minimally invasive laparoscopy. She begins by reviewing your symptoms and medical history. Then, Dr. Grier completes a pelvic exam to feel for abnormalities on your reproductive organs.
Dr. Grier also orders ultrasounds and MRIs to examine your pelvic organs for signs of endometriosis. In some cases, she needs to perform a laparoscopy to examine your pelvic organs in close detail.
During laparoscopy, Dr. Grier makes a small incision in your abdomen and inserts a laparoscope. The laparoscope has a light and camera on its tip that sends images from inside your body to a video monitor in the treatment room.
Dr. Grier provides personalized treatment plans for endometriosis. Depending on the severity of your symptoms and needs, she might recommend hormone therapy to alleviate your symptoms. You might also benefit from over-the-counter pain relievers to reduce menstrual cramping.
Dr. Grier might recommend minimally invasive surgery to remove the abnormal endometrium. She specializes in minimally invasive procedures and offers da Vinci® robotic surgery for precise excision of endometriosis.
In severe cases, when other treatments haven't relieved your symptoms, and you're not planning on having more children, Dr. Grier might recommend a hysterectomy.
If you're concerned about pelvic pain or endometriosis, call Melissa Grier, MD Women’s Healthcare or make an appointment online today.