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School of Medicine
Endometriosis, Ovarian Cysts and Tubal Disease Treatment
What is endometriosis?
Endometriosis is a benign condition. Endometrial tissue (the tissue that lines the uterus) grows outside the uterine cavity and can attach itself to reproductive or abdominal organs. The patches of endometrial tissue swell with blood during menstruation as if they were still in the uterus, causing severe pain. Further, areas may bleed causing adhesions and cysts that can cause scarring and damage to nearby organs.
Endometriosis is a common disorder, and most often occurs in women between the ages of 25 and 40. Symptoms vary and may worsen with time. They tend to improve during pregnancy and cease with menopause.
Symptoms of endometriosis include:
- Pain in the vagina, lower abdomen, and lower back—pain often begins just prior to monthly periods, continues during menses, and worsens just after the cessation of blood flow.
- Abnormal or heavy menstrual bleeding
- Vaginal pain during sexual intercourse
- Infertility—endometriosis is one of the most common causes of infertility.
What is the treatment for endometriosis?
Treatment depends on the severity of symptoms, your age and if you want to have children. Your healthcare practitioner may recommend:
- Low-dose oral contraceptive pills to suppress ovulation.
- Hormone suppressing medication for 3-6 months to shrink endometrial tissue.
- Surgical removal of the tissue – this can be done in a number of ways, including:
- Laser removal during laparoscopy
- Hysterectomy and oopherectomy – surgical removal of the uterus and ovaries
Learn more about endometriosis treatments at Johns Hopkins.
What are ovarian cysts?
An ovarian cyst is a fluid-filled sac that forms in the ovary. They are common and generally benign (noncancerous). Ovarian cysts can be different sizes and can occur at different sites in the ovary. The most common type develops when an egg-producing follicle does not rupture and release the egg but instead swells with fluid and forms a follicular cyst.
What is the treatment for ovarian cysts?
Ovarian cysts often disappear on their own without treatment, but in some cases, they may require surgical removal. In rare cases, a cyst that twists or ruptures can cause serious complications and emergency surgery may be necessary.
What is tubal disease?
Tubal disease is a common infertility condition. The fallopian tubes have blockages (usually adhesions) that prevent the fertilized egg from travelling into the uterus for implantation.
How is tubal disease diagnosed?
Doctors diagnose tubal disease with a hysterosonogram, a radiological procedure that can diagnose tubal blockage. Alternatively, your doctor may choose laparoscopy so he or she can see the obstructed tube.
What is the treatment for tubal disease?
Your doctor may be able to remove the blockages that are preventing you from becoming pregnant.
At our practice, our gynecologists are committed to finding the causes of infertility and helping you and your partner become successful in your desire to have a baby.