It’s estimated that one in 10 women struggle with endometriosis during their reproductive years. With her extensive background in endometriosis diagnosis and minimally invasive surgical techniques, caring OB/GYN Marsha K. Howerton, MD, treats women in her Midtown, Tulsa, Oklahoma, practice. If you have undiagnosed pelvic pain or have previously been diagnosed with endometriosis, schedule an evaluation with Dr. Howerton. Book your visit either online or over the phone.
The inner lining of your uterus, which is called the endometrium, sometimes starts growing on the outside of your uterus. This is known as endometriosis. In some cases, this tissue even adheres to your Fallopian tubes and ovaries. Though rare, endometrial tissue can even spread beyond your pelvic region.
Normally your endometrium thickens, breaks down, and sheds during your monthly menstrual cycle. If you have endometriosis, this same process happens, except the displaced tissue has nowhere to go. This entrapment of tissue is known for causing uncomfortable side effects and could even affect your fertility.
The only way to know for sure if you have endometriosis is to have a diagnostic laparoscopy to evaluate your pelvic organs. But Dr. Howerton also goes over your health and current symptoms to see if endometriosis could be affecting you. Common signs and symptoms include:
Or if you’ve been trying to get pregnant and have experienced difficulty, endometriosis could be to blame. Even if you do have endometriosis though, Dr. Howerton can take precautions and provide treatments to help you improve your chances of conceiving.
Although there isn’t a cure for endometriosis, since it’s a chronic condition, it’s certainly treatable and manageable. Depending on the severity of your symptoms and whether or not you plan to conceive, Dr. Howerton might start out with conservative hormonal treatments.
Supplemental hormones, like birth control pills, often help relieve endometriosis discomfort and issues with abnormally heavy periods. Dr. Howerton could even suggest a minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery with da Vinci® robotic tools to remove endometrial tissue or laser surgery to destroy abnormal tissue growths.
As a last resort, if your symptoms still aren’t improving, you might need a hysterectomy to remove your uterus, Fallopian tubes, and ovaries. Generally, Dr. Howerton only performs a hysterectomy if you’re past your reproductive years or if you’re certain your family is complete.
Schedule your endometriosis evaluation at the office of Marsha K. Howerton, MD, by using the online scheduling system or by calling the clinic.