Endometriosis Treatment in New York
During a normal menstrual cycle, hormones are released from the ovaries, causing the lining of the uterus to thicken. The lining, called the endometrium, builds up and prepares to receive a fertilized egg. If the egg is not fertilized, the uterus will shed the lining through the vagina. Endometriosis occurs when this lining forms outside of the uterus in other pelvic areas. When the hormones that tell the uterus to shed this lining are released, the thickened tissue outside of the uterus responds as well. With no way to leave the body, the trapped endometrial flow can irritate the surrounding area causing inflammation and pain.
Endometriosis Signs and Symptoms
While some women with endometriosis never experience symptoms, there are a number of warning signs that should trigger an action when the condition is present.
When left untreated, bands of scar tissue, called adhesions, can form causing organs to stick to one another. Adhesions can also form on the ovaries, intestines, and fallopian tubes, affecting your ability to become pregnant.
One of the most common symptoms of endometriosis is fluctuating pain. While it is normal to experience some pain when menstruating, trapped endometrial flow can build up in unwanted areas causing extreme discomfort. This build-up can occur in places such as the lower back and rectum, resulting in pain during bowel movements and sexual intercourse.
Menstruation is the act of releasing the uterine lining from the uterus in the absence of a fertilized egg. This lining leaves the uterus through the vagina in various flows of bloody discharge. If this bleeding begins before menstruation, it may have something to do with endometriosis. Additional signs of endometriosis include blood in a woman’s urine or stool, vaginal bleeding after sexual intercourse, and heightened menstrual cramping.
Cause of Endometriosis
One cause of endometriosis is when menstrual blood containing endometrial cells flows back through the fallopian tubes and into the pelvic cavity. This is called retrograde menstruation when displaced endometrial cells stick to the surface of pelvic organs. Over time these cells grow and thicken as they would inside of the uterus. At the beginning of the next menstrual cycle, the formation sheds causing bleeding and pain.
Transformation of Cells
The peritoneal cavity is the membrane-bound, fluid-filled abdominal cavity in the body that contains the liver, spleen, and most of the gastrointestinal tract. Experts propose in what is known as the “induction theory,” that hormones or various immune factors promote a transformation of peritoneal cells. Similar to the transformation of peritoneal cells, hormones such as estrogen are believed to transform embryonic cells into endometrial cells.
Surgical Scar Implantation
It is possible that a problem with the immune system may make the body unable to recognize and destroy endometrial tissue that’s growing outside the uterus. After a surgery such as a hysterectomy or C-section, endometrial cells may attach to a surgical incision and require further examination
Transportation of Endometrial Cells
Endometrial cells may transport to other parts of the body through blood vessels or tissue fluid in the lymphatic system. This lymph fluid or blood can carry endometrial cells to other areas of the body such as in the pelvis.
Diagnostic Testing for Endometriosis
Endometriosis is commonly diagnosed during surgery, which allows the doctor to acknowledge the presence of the condition during a procedure. However, a collection of a woman’s medical and family history, paired with a physical exam and pelvic ultrasound, are other ways to indicate a need to test further for endometriosis.
Once a patient has confirmed endometriosis, the next steps will be discussed to determine the best possible form of treatment. A unique treatment plan will be discussed with every patient depending on their specific conditions.
Innovative Endometriosis Treatment Options
Endometriosis is just one contributing factor that could lead to possible infertility – one of the many reasons we take it so seriously at NYU Langone Reproductive Specialists of New York. We firmly believe that women with endometriosi, should not simply have to settle with infertility. To optimize the chance of having a baby, we recommend women with endometriosis undergo a consultation with one of our board-certified physicians. Both new and prospective patients who are interested should request an appointment online to be seen in our Brooklyn, Mineola, Stony Brook or West Islip office.