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What is Endometriosis?

Endometriosis commonly involves the female reproductive system, ovaries, Fallopian tubes, uterine surface, pelvic area, and small intestines.

Endometriosis is a painful condition where the tissue (endometrium) that normally lines the inside of the uterus grows outside the uterus and continues to thicken, breakdown and shed with each menstrual cycle. Unlike the menstrual tissues that form monthly inside the uterus and expelled during the monthly period, this endometrial tissue has no exit and can irritate, form adhesions, and damage surrounding healthy tissues.

Common Symptoms

  • Fatigue
  • Gastrointestinal distress (diarrhea, constipation, bloating, nausea)
  • Infertility
  • Pain before and during periods (dysmenorrhea)
  • Pain during sex
  • Pain with bowel movements or urination during periods

Risk Factors

The exact cause of endometriosis is unknown, but some factors put you at greater risk.

  • Having a family member who has or had endometriosis
  • Menstrual cycles shorter than 28 days
  • Never becoming pregnant or giving birth
  • Starting your period before age 12
  • Uterine abnormalities

Treatment Options

Sometimes the pain caused by endometriosis can be mitigated with over the counter pain medications, anti-inflammatory medication, or birth control hormones. However, if a woman is planning a pregnancy and experiencing fertility issues, or is continuing to have symptoms despite medications, surgical treatment may be considered. Choosing fertility-sparing robotic endometriosis resection is a game changer for women who want to build a family. Utilizing robotic techniques to remove endometriosis is an effective treatment for dysmenorrhea (p)ain with menstruation or dyspareunia (p)ainful intercourse, while working around vital reproductive structures to maintain fertility. For mature women who are no longer concerned with family planning, robotic radical endometriosis resection, removing the ovaries, Fallopian tubes, and uterus, can help ensure they will not require future surgery. This technique will help alleviate pelvic pain, dysmenorrhea or dyspareunia associated with endometriosis while preserving normal tissues and nerves. Additionally, multidisciplinary procedures combined with urology or general surgery to treat deep infiltrating endometriosis which may be affecting the bowel or bladder can also benefit from a robotic approach.

For milder cases of endometriosis, even less invasive methods of resection including traditional laparoscopy, or mini/micro laparoscopy can be used to diagnose and treat the symptoms associated with the disease. With accurate diagnosis and individualized treatment the quality of life of women suffering with pain can be greatly improved with almost invisible incisions and an extremely fast, almost painless recovery.

Find A Gynecology Surgeon

Visit Dignity Health Medical Group - Saint Francis/St. Mary's to find the doctor that's right for you or use our search tool to Find A Doctor.