Endometriosis is a chronic, gynecologic disease in which tissue from the lining of the uterus begins growing outside of the uterus. It is most often found in younger women, although it can happen to women at any age before menopause. The exact cause of endometriosis is unknown, but it can interfere with a woman’s fertility in various ways.
Women who have a family history of endometriosis are at a higher risk of developing it themselves.
Typical symptoms of endometriosis include progressively worsening menstrual pain, pelvic pain and difficulty getting pregnant. If you are experiencing signs of endometriosis, it is extremely important to discuss these symptoms with your doctor, as early treatment intervention of the disease improves outcomes. Endometriosis is often diagnosed through a description of the symptoms and a pelvic exam and is sometimes confirmed through surgery.
Treatment for endometriosis can involve medication, surgery or a combination of both until a woman reaches menopause. Some women may only need an over-the-counter pain reliever to manage their symptoms, while hormone therapy may be the best treatment for others. The severity of the disease can vary from person to person, and the best treatment method should be determined for each individual after discussion with their provider. While endometriosis can make becoming pregnant more difficult, pregnancy is still possible for most women with the help of their health care provider.
Cone Health has an exceptional network of OB/GYN specialists and other related healthcare providers dedicated to caring for the many health conditions that are unique to women.
Dr. Stephen Jackson is an obstetrics and gynecology specialist at Westside OB/GYN in Burlington. Dr. Jackson received his Doctor of Medicine from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine. He completed his residency in obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Virginia.