Endometriosis is a chronic medical condition affecting more than 11% of women in America between the ages of 15 and 44. If you’re among them, Anita Chait, MD, FACOG, of Women’s Laser Center & OB/GYN of New Jersey in Ramsey, New Jersey, offers comprehensive diagnostic and treatment services for endometriosis. Schedule an appointment today to get started. Use the convenient online scheduling system, or call the office today to check appointment availability.
The interior of your uterus is lined with a layer of tissue called endometrium. That tissue changes as you progress through your menstrual cycle — gradually thickening, bleeding, and eventually exiting your body during your period.
Endometriosis is a medical condition in which endometrium grows outside of your uterus in other areas of your pelvis. That abnormally positioned tissue is most often found on the fallopian tubes, ovaries, the exterior of the uterus, or on the tissues that secure your uterus in place. Less commonly, endometrium is found on the cervix, vagina, bladder, rectum, or bowel. In incredibly rare cases, endometrium develops on the skin, lungs, or brain.
Endometriosis can cause numerous symptoms, many of which occur in various other gynecologic conditions. That’s part of why it can be so challenging to reach a proper diagnosis.
Because all endometrial tissue goes through the same cycles, any endometrium located outside of your uterus has no way to exit your body once it begins to break down and bleed. That causes widespread pain and inflammation.
Symptoms of endometriosis include:
Each woman has a unique experience of endometriosis. Your symptoms may be steady or intermittent and can range from only mildly uncomfortable to debilitatingly painful.
There is no cure for endometriosis; treatment focuses on managing symptoms to allow you to enjoy your normal daily routines. Once Dr. Chait reaches a diagnosis, she creates a customized treatment plan to address your specific needs.
Pain medication may play a role in your treatment, especially in the early stages as you explore additional options. Over-the-counter medications can help control discomfort, and there are also prescription options to consider.
Hormone therapy can sometimes help address pain by slowing endometrial tissue development. Birth control pills, Gn-RH agonists and antagonists, and medications that reduce your estrogen levels are all possible treatment tools.
For some women, surgery is the best way to treat endometriosis. Conservative surgery removes endometriosis implants, and can usually be done laparoscopically. In rare cases, a hysterectomy is needed to relieve endometriosis.
If you have questions about endometriosis, schedule an appointment with Dr. Chait to learn more. You can book an appointment online or by phone.