Endometriosis is a common painful gynecological condition that affects more than 10% of women in the United States. Unfortunately, many women go undiagnosed for years because of the ambiguous pelvic pain it causes. Rixt Luikenaar, MD, FACOG, at Rebirth OB/GYN in Salt Lake City is a women’s health expert who specializes in the diagnosis and management of endometriosis. To schedule a consultation at the progressive office, call today or request an appointment online.
Endometriosis is a gynecological condition in which your endometrial tissue, which is the tissue that lines your uterus, grows in other parts of your abdominal area. While the tissue can grow anywhere, it most commonly affects the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and the lining of your pelvis.
Doctors are still trying to understand the exact cause of endometriosis but theorize there may be a genetic component that increases your risk of developing the painful condition. You may be more at risk of endometriosis if you have a close relative with the condition, you haven’t given birth, or you started your period at an early age.
Endometriosis is very common and occurs in all women.
Abdominal cramping and pain, usually around menstruation, are the most common symptoms of endometriosis. You may also experience:
The severity of your symptoms may not necessarily correlate with the extent of the overgrowth. You can experience debilitating pain and only have what’s considered mild endometriosis.
If you’re experiencing these symptoms, contact Rebirth OB/GYN for a consultation.
Because pelvic pain in women is common and can develop from many causes, a diagnosis of endometriosis can be difficult. Dr. Luikenaar conducts a comprehensive examination when you come in with complaints of pelvic pain. In addition to reviewing your symptoms and medical history, she also conducts a physical and pelvic exam.
To rule out other causes of your pelvic pain, she may recommend an ultrasound or MRI to evaluate your reproductive tissue. Depending on the results of your diagnostic imaging, Dr. Luikenaar may recommend laparoscopic surgery to confirm endometriosis. During this minimally invasive procedure, Dr. Luikenaar uses a laparoscope inserted through a small incision in your abdomen to get a closer look at your reproductive organs.
Dr. Luikenaar takes a conservative approach to the management of endometriosis. To reduce pain and your other symptoms, she may prescribe hormonal birth control to regulate ovulation. She may also recommend hormone blockers to stop the release of the hormones that cause the development of your endometrial tissue.
Endometriosis is common but can be treated. For a consultation, call Rebirth OB/GYN today or request an appointment online.