Rickie Guida, WHNP-BC
Gynecologist located in Littleton, CO
Endometriosis can cause painful periods and irregular bleeding, and it may even interfere with fertility. At Alpenglow Gynecology in Littleton, Colorado, Rickie Guida, WHNP-BC and the team provide care and treatment for endometriosis. Call the office or book an appointment online if you have any of the symptoms of endometriosis, so you can manage the condition for the long term.
What is endometriosis?
Endometriosis is a condition in which the tissue that lines the uterus, the endometrium, grows outside the womb. It can attach to other reproductive organs, including your ovaries and fallopian tubes, as well as to the outside of the uterus, the vagina, the bowel, and the rectum.
The tissue still has the qualities of the lining of the uterus, so it bleeds monthly and tries to shed and exit the body. The tissue doesn’t have an easy way out, so it swells and causes pain. It can cause infertility because the endometrial tissue may block your fallopian tubes or your ovaries.
What are the symptoms of endometriosis?
Endometriosis can often be diagnosed just by the presence of certain symptoms. These include:
- Painful cramps during menstruation
- Pain in the lower back and pelvis
- Heavy bleeding during your period
- Pain during bowel movements or while urinating, especially during your period
- Pain during or after sexual intercourse
You may also have bleeding or spotting between your periods, infertility, and digestive problems, such as constipation, bloating, or nausea, especially around the time of your period.
How is endometriosis diagnosed?
The team can sometimes detect endometriosis during a pelvic exam, but small areas of endometriosis can be hard to identify. If your pain is mild to moderate, they may use medicines to help treat your symptoms. If these medications do provide relief, it helps them diagnose endometriosis.
These medicines include hormonal birth control, such as the pill, and gonadotropin-releasing hormone. Both of these reduce your estrogen output, which reduces the growth of endometrial tissue and decreases pain. If these medications work to alleviate your pain, you probably have endometriosis.
If you have symptoms that suggest endometriosis, the team may recommend imaging tests, such as ultrasounds, to rule out other causes. They may send you for laparoscopic diagnosis to confirm the presence of the tissue.
How is endometriosis treated?
The team may treat your endometriosis symptoms with birth control pills or the gonadotropin-releasing hormones. IUDs and extended-cycle birth control, such as the shot, can also offer relief.
In severe cases, she may send you for surgery to remove the tissue, especially if you want to get pregnant and the endometriosis is interfering with fertility.
While endometriosis cannot be cured, it can be treated. If you have symptoms that suggest endometriosis, call the office of Alpenglow Gynecology or book an appointment online.