Endometriosis

Highland Park Ob-Gyn Associates -  - OB/GYN

Highland Park Ob-Gyn Associates

OB/GYNs located in Northbrook, IL

Endometriosis is a common — and often painful — gynecological condition that affects about 1 in 10 reproductive-aged women. At Highland Park Ob-Gyn Associates, Steven Valfer, MD, and Regan Valfer, MD, provide diagnostic testing and comprehensive care, including medical and surgical treatment, for women with endometriosis and pelvic pain. If you think you may have endometriosis, call the office in Northbrook, Illinois, or book an appointment online today.

Endometriosis Q & A

What is endometriosis?

Endometriosis is a condition that involves the tissue that normally lines the inner wall of your uterus growing in places it shouldn’t. These abnormal areas of endometrial tissue, or implants, usually occur in the following places:

  • Ovaries
  • Fallopian tubes
  • Outer surfaces of the uterus, bladder, or intestines
  • The space behind the uterus (cul-de-sac)
  • The membrane that lines your pelvic cavity (peritoneum)

In rare cases, endometriosis can affect organs and tissue outside of the pelvic region.

When you have endometriosis, these implants thicken and bleed just like the tissue that lines your uterus does. 

Because there’s no way for it to leave your body, the tissue becomes trapped. This can irritate and inflame the surrounding organs and cause scar tissue and adhesions to form.

What are the symptoms of endometriosis?

Long-term, or chronic, pelvic pain is the most common symptom of endometriosis. Pain is usually worse before and during your period. Other symptoms of endometriosis may include:

  • Pain during sexual intercourse
  • Pain during bowel movements or urination
  • Heavy menstrual bleeding
  • Difficulty getting pregnant (infertility)

Many women with endometriosis have no symptoms at all. The type and severity of your symptoms isn’t an indicator of how serious your condition is.

What is the link between endometriosis and infertility?

It’s common for women to learn that they have endometriosis when they have trouble becoming pregnant and visit their doctor to find out why. For more than 40% of women with infertility, endometriosis is the cause.

Fortunately, endometriosis treatment at Highland Park Ob-Gyn Associates can improve your chances of becoming pregnant.

How is endometriosis diagnosed and treated?

First, your provider performs a physical and pelvic exam and reviews your symptoms and medical history. 

They may perform an in-office ultrasound to check for signs of endometriosis and rule out other conditions that can cause infertility, like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).

Laparoscopy, a minimally invasive surgical procedure that allows your doctor to see the inside of your abdomen and pelvis, is the only way to confirm you have endometriosis. Your Highland Park Ob-Gyn Associates provider may take a biopsy or fully treat the condition during the same laparoscopic procedure.

If you don’t want to get pregnant and your condition isn’t severe, birth control pills and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may be a more suitable treatment option.

For expert care of endometriosis, call Highland Park Ob-Gyn Associates or book an appointment online today.