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Endometriosis Specialist

Generations Women's Healthcare

Gynecology located in Norton, OH & Cuyahoga Falls, OH

Endometriosis can result in a confusing and painful mix of symptoms that create significant stress during every menstrual cycle. Susan Clark, MD, and Lindsay Smith, PA-C, at Generations Women’s Healthcare can help by designing a personalized treatment strategy that relieves the pain and other issues related to endometriosis. Serving the communities of Norton and Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, top-level specialists approach women’s wellness with a patient-first focus that makes you feel welcome and respected. Schedule your visit today by calling or booking your appointment online.

Endometriosis Q&A

What is endometriosis?

Endometriosis occurs when the same type of tissue that makes up the inner lining of your uterus (endometrium) develops on other organs.

The misplaced tissue most often grows on the:

  • Ovaries
  • Fallopian tubes
  • The outer wall of the uterus
  • The muscles and connective tissue (fascia) that hold the uterus in place 
  • The muscles and connective tissue that line the pelvic floor

Endometriosis affects approximately 6.5 million American women between the ages of 15 and 44 and is especially prevalent in women in their 30s and 40s. 

Why is endometriosis painful?

Although it’s growing in the wrong place, the endometrial-like tissue responsible for endometriosis functions as if it were part of the uterine lining.  

Just like the endometrium, it thickens in response to rising estrogen and progesterone levels during your menstrual cycle as it prepares to nourish a fetus. It then breaks down and sheds blood, mucus, and tissue the same way your uterus does during a normal period.

Unfortunately, because the tissue and blood don’t have access to the vaginal canal through which to exit your body, it becomes trapped. That causes pain as surrounding tissue structures become irritated and inflamed.

Over time, scar tissue and bands of fibrous tissue (adhesions) can form, causing pelvic organs to stick together. Advanced endometriosis may also result in dark brown endometrial fluid-filled ovarian cysts, often called chocolate cysts.

What symptoms develop with endometriosis?

Symptoms of endometriosis are often mistaken as being normal but especially uncomfortable menstrual periods and may include:

  • Crampy pelvic pain that begins several days before and continues during your period
  • Non-menstrual pelvic pain - pain which happens throughout the month, not just during your period
  • Lower back pain
  • Pain during or after sex
  • Discomfort with bowel movements or urination, especially during your period
  • Heavy flow
  • Bleeding between periods
  • Fatigue
  • Excessive bloating and nausea before and during a menstrual period

Endometriosis is also a common cause of infertility. You may not even realize you have it until you seek a fertility workup because you’re having problems conceiving.

How do you treat endometriosis?

Treatment for endometriosis usually includes various hormone therapies, such as birth control pills, that stop the buildup of estrogen and progesterone during your cycle. In many cases, that can eliminate the pain and other symptoms you’re experiencing.

Newer treatment options include non-hormonal medication used to lower estrogen levels which will provide pain relief.

If you’re planning a future pregnancy, your Generations Women’s Healthcare provider may recommend referral for minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery to remove the misplaced tissue growths while leaving your ovaries, fallopian tubes, and uterus intact.

As a last resort, if no other treatments ease the pain or other disruptive symptoms of endometriosis, Generations Women’s Healthcare could recommend a hysterectomy. 

For an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment for endometriosis, schedule a visit at Generations Women’s Healthcare today. Book your appointment online or call the nearest office.