Endometriosis is a condition that has no cure, and can appear differently from patient to patient. Some women have extensive endometriosis with few symptoms, while others may have few endometrial implants and be in excruciating pain. However, Beth had the worst of both. Her endometriosis was extensive. She suffered every month with searing pain. After multiple failed surgeries, she was desperate, and just wanted a hysterectomy. She was only 24, but had lived with enough pain to last a lifetime.
Living with endometriosis pain can consume your life. Choosing to have a hysterectomy is never an easy decision. No doctor wants that to be the only option for his patient, especially one so young. But, it’s a very personal decision.
Even with a hysterectomy, there was no guarantee that Beth’s endometriosis wouldn’t return. It takes a highly skilled GYN surgeon, one experienced in endometriosis resection and removing pelvic adhesions to make sure that after the hysterectomy, any residual effects of the endometriosis are completely removed.
- Endometriosis is relatively common, affecting women of child-bearing age.
- More than five million women in the US have endometriosis.
- Endometriosis affects women of all ethnicities but may be more common among Caucasian women.
- Rates are higher among women with very painful periods or chronic pelvic pain.
- Women with infertility are more likely to have endometriosis.
- Having a first-degree relative with endometriosis increases the risk of having endometriosis.
ENDOMETRIOSIS PAIN AND OTHER SYMPTOMS
Symptoms can vary greatly depending on the location and severity of the endometriosis.
- Painful menstrual cycles
- Pain with bowel movements
- Pain during sexual intercourse
- Low back pain
- Bowel or bladder symptoms, especially near the time of a period (for example, blood in urine or stool that only occurs during menses)
It is thought that endometriosis pain is due to active bleeding, release of biochemicals that cause inflammation and pain, and even increased nerve sensitivity related to the implants. Adhesions and cysts created by endometriosis can cause significant pain as well.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT TREATMENT
While one surgical treatment that has often proven to be effective at controlling pain, a hysterectomy is not the only procedure that can be used to treat endometriosis. During Hysterectomy Awareness Month, it’s important to understand the different conditions that could warrant a hysterectomy, as well as alternative procedures. A detailed discussion with a GYN surgical specialist should address all of your concerns.
Learn more about CIGC surgeons: Dr. Natalya Danilyants and Dr. Paul J MacKoul, MD reviews.
You can learn more about endometriosis, surgical techniques performed at CIGC, and watch Beth’s full story in our videos.
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