It can take up to a decade for a woman to get a proper endometriosis diagnosis. Diagnosing endometriosis is complicated. The symptoms often mimic other conditions, symptoms may not appear severe enough for a medical consultation until it progresses or is discovered due to fertility concerns, and social norms that persist over expected menstrual-related pelvic pain often leads even medical professionals to dismiss patient concerns. It takes an endometriosis specialist to connect the dots and get to the root of the problem.
Signs of endometriosis include:
- Painful periods starting during teenage years
- Painful cramps or localized pain in the pelvis
- Heavy bleeding
- Difficulty going to the bathroom (pain with bowel movements, blood in urine or stools during menstrual cycle)
- Low back pain
- Pain during sex
CHOOSING AN ENDOMETRIOSIS SPECIALIST
“When non-specialists resort to performing hysterectomies as an endometriosis treatment, they often ignore or are not aware of endometriosis lesions,” continued MacKoul. “If lesions or scar tissue is left behind during a surgical procedure, it can continue to cause intense pain or other symptoms, so it is essential to consult with a specialist who can remove the disease effectively.”
Endometriosis can also cause damage to the surrounding structures in the pelvis.
“When it comes to this complex gynecological condition, finding a GYN specialist who is an expert in localized endometriosis excision and who can perform necessary bowel, bladder and ureter repairs is essential,” said Rupen Baxi, MD. “These are delicate structures that can be damaged during excision, and must be repaired at the same time to avoid complications.”
“Endometriosis responds to estrogen,” said Danilyants. “In some cases, hysterectomy with removal of the ovaries is appropriate for women who do not desire fertility, or for women for whom excision alone has not managed to control the pain. However, each condition appears differently, and must be reviewed thoroughly by a specialist before surgery is recommended.”