Endometriosis: An Inside Look

At Coyle Institute, Dr. Michael Coyle and his team have built a strong practice specializing in the treatment of women for many types of urogynecological issues, including pelvic organ prolapse, urinary incontinence, and endometriosis.

Though it may not be the most commonly discussed gynecological disorder, a surprising number of women suffer from endometriosis, a condition that occurs when the lining of the uterus actually grows outside of the uterus.

Generally, endometriosis symptoms present themselves in women between the ages of 30 and 40, who experience indicators which often include:

  • Painful cramping during menses
  • Painful urination or bowel movements during menses
  • Pelvic pain that becomes chronic
  • Pain in the intestines
  • Pain during or after intercourse
  • Heavy bleeding or spotting between menstrual cycles
  • Infertility
  • Digestive problems which seem to increase during menses

Endometriosis: Diagnosis And Due Course Of Action

At Coyle Institute, we understand the importance of addressing endometriosis, but we also realize that diagnosing the disorder can only happen if our patients feel safe and comfortable enough to come to us with their concerns. We have an experienced team whose very highest priority is providing world-class care and attention to the women we treat, and we believe that dedication shows in each and every appointment.

If symptoms of endometriosis present themselves, the most common methods of making a firm diagnosis include performing a pelvic exam to physically identify a growth; conducting an MRI or ultrasound to visually pinpoint the condition; prescribing medications to watch for any effectual changes in symptoms; or performing laparoscopic surgery to more thoroughly explore the pelvic region for the growth of any endometrial tissue.

Endometriosis pain is not something that we want our patients to be resigned to, so while there may not actually be any cure for the condition, at Coyle Institute, we can provide the very best treatments available to relieve the symptoms and manage the problems directly related to endometriosis. In order to determine a plan of action, a number of factors need to be taken into consideration, including the desire to avoid surgery or any future hopes of pregnancy, both of which will help guide us in which options we choose to pursue.

Hormonal birth control is the most common course of treatment for women suffering from endometriosis, except for those who may be trying to get pregnant. Otherwise, the insertion of an IUD (an intrauterine device which eliminates the need for oral birth control), hormone patches, oral hormones, shots, and vaginal rings may all provide effective relief. Bioidentical hormone therapy is another form of treatment, which is a customizable medication option for the treatment of endometriosis and associated side effects.

Women who are hoping to get pregnant will often be given a prescription for hormone agonists, which temporarily suspend the production of estrogen to stop ovulation, menstrual cycles, and the growth of endometrial tissue. Once these medications are no longer taken, the body is then able to resume menstrual cycles, and any attempt for pregnancy is given a higher success rate.

Endometriosis surgery is generally only suggested for women whose symptoms are more severe and have not seen any relief from hormonal methods, or in cases where the patient is experiencing fertility issues. In instances such as this, the growths are removed, and any previously administered hormonal therapy is resumed.

In addition, some women are advised to explore relief options such as over-the-counter pain medications or more alternative treatments including acupuncture, chiropractic adjustments, herbs, and supplements.

Endometriosis: Reducing The Risks

While these may be the most common signs of endometriosis, not all women are aware that they may be at risk for developing the disorder. Those with the greatest risk factors include women with a family history of the condition, women who have never had children, and women with very irregular menstrual cycles. Unfortunately, there is no way to prevent endometriosis, though there are methods of minimizing the risk that it will fully develop. Most often, risks are decreased by lowering the estrogen levels.

Estrogen levels may be reduced most easily by:

  • Bioidentical hormone therapy tailored to your symptoms and results from your saliva hormone testing.
  • Controlling alcohol intake. Alcoholic beverages cause estrogen levels in the body to rise, so consuming less will also prevent a spike in estrogen.
  • Exercising regularly. Increasing the frequency and regularity of exercise will lower body fat, which also lowers estrogen levels in the body.
  • Changing birth control. Switching to a type of birth control with less estrogen will help balance out estrogen levels to a point that endometriosis will be less likely to occur.
  • Consuming less caffeine. Caffeine elevates estrogen production, so avoiding or consuming fewer caffeinated beverages will also mitigate the body’s response mechanism for producing more estrogen.

Don’t let endometriosis limit your life. Give Dr. Coyle and his team at Coyle Institute a call today!