Endometriosis is a painful, persistent condition that causes many women to suffer heavy bleeding and severe pain during their period. Carolyn Kaplan, MD, of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility Group in Atlanta is a gynecologist at the top of her field who specializes in finding solutions for patients with fertility and gynecological problems. Call the clinic today to arrange an appointment with Dr. Kaplan, or book using the online tool.
Endometriosis is a condition that affects the endometrium, the lining of the uterus that’s shed each month during menstruation. In patients with endometriosis, endometrial tissue starts growing outside the uterus, attaching itself to other organs such as the ovaries and fallopian tubes. During menstruation, these endometrial tissues swell and bleed just as the endometrium does, causing pain and discomfort.
Blood from the endometrial tissue is trapped inside your body, unable to escape as it would from your uterus. The trapped blood forms pools that cause inflammation and the development of scar tissue, which may block the fallopian tubes and cause problems with ovulation.
The main symptoms of endometriosis are:
Endometriosis gets worse over time as more tissue grows, and it can cause infertility. It may also return after treatment, so regular monitoring of women with endometriosis is advisable.
To confirm you have endometriosis, Dr. Kaplan carries out a laparoscopy, a simple outpatient procedure in which she passes a miniaturized camera on a flexible tube through a small incision in your abdomen. Once the camera is inside your abdominal cavity, Dr. Kaplan can see if there is endometrial tissue growing outside the uterus to confirm a diagnosis of endometriosis.
Endometriosis may be minimal (stage 1) or could be classed as extensive (stage 4), depending on the amount of tissue and scarring Dr. Kaplan finds. Treatments such as laser therapy or heat therapy, or excising the endometrial tissue can relieve pain in many cases, although some patients with more extensive endometriosis may need medication to shrink the endometrial tissue.
Acupuncture, Chinese medicine, and liver detoxification treatments are useful for many patients, and a number of herbs and supplements could be helpful with pain relief, including:
Resolving the endometriosis is often enough to restore fertility, but Dr. Kaplan can increase your chances of conceiving using simple techniques such as stimulating ovulation. For patients who are still having problems conceiving, intrauterine insemination (IUI) and in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatments are often effective.
Find out more about the treatment options for endometriosis by booking an appointment with Dr. Kaplan. Call Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility Group today, or use the online booking tool.