The Endometriosis Center At Mercy Offers Women Full Range Of Treatment Options For Endometriosis
About 176 million women worldwide suffer from endometriosis, a condition where tissue similar to that found in the lining of uterus is found elsewhere in the body. Many of these women go undiagnosed and untreated.
March is Endometriosis Awareness Month, when national support groups and women with endometriosis seek to raise awareness about this disease with events and activities throughout the world.
Approximately 10% of all women will be affected by endometriosis during their reproductive years (i.e. from onset of menstruation to menopause).
Endometriosis occurs when tissue that normally lines the inside of a woman’s uterus begins to grow on the outside of the uterus. Endometriosis may appear anywhere within a woman’s pelvic cavity, including:
- fallopian tubes
- on the pelvic side-wall (peritoneum)
- uterosacral ligaments,
- the cul-de-sac,
- the Pouch of Douglas
- rectal-vaginal septum
In addition, it can be found in:
- caesarian-section scars
- laparoscopy/laparotomy scars
- the bladder
- the bowel
- the intestines, colon, appendix, and rectum.
But these locations are not as common. In even more rare cases, endometriosis has been found inside the vagina, inside the bladder, on the skin, in the lung, spine, and brain.
Symptoms may vary and the pain of endometriosis can be debilitating. Pain may be experienced:
- before/during/after menstruation
- during ovulation
- in the bowel during menstruation
- when passing urine
- during or after sexual intercourse
- in the lower back region
Other symptoms may include:
- diarrhea or constipation (often in connection with menstruation)
- abdominal bloating (often in connection with menstruation)
- heavy or irregular bleeding
Another well known symptom associated with endometriosis is infertility.
While there is no known cure for endometriosis, there are treatments that can help relieve symptoms and improve a patient’s quality of life.
Endometriosis is known to be aggravated by estrogen. Therefore, hormonal treatments are designed to manage estrogen levels. Hormonal therapy is used to suppress the menstrual period to prevent the monthly bleeding.
Surgery is also an option, and is the definitive way to diagnose the problem. How successful surgery can be is ultimately dependent upon the surgeon. At Mercy women who struggle with pelvic pain and endometriosis can turn to The Endometriosis Center, led by Dr. Fermin Barrueto and Dr. Kevin Audlin.
Drs. Barrueto and Audlin are joined by gynecologic surgeons and endometriosis specialists Dr. Meghan Lynch and Dr. Christine O'Connor. The team provides expertise in endometriosis treatment including gynecologic laparoscopy, a minimally invasive technique to remove endometriosis from the ovaries, bowel, rectum, bladder and the lining of the pelvic area.
Learn more about The Endometriosis Center at Mercy and the diagnosis and treatment of this disease.
Founded in 1874 in downtown Baltimore by the Sisters of Mercy, Mercy Medical Center is a 183-licensed bed acute care university-affiliated teaching hospital. Mercy has been recognized as a top Maryland hospital by U.S. News & World Report; a Top 100 hospital for Women’s Health & Orthopedics by Healthgrades; is currently A-rated for Hospital Safety (Leapfrog Group), and is recognized by the American Nurses Credentialing Center as a Magnet Hospital. Mercy Medical Center is part of Mercy Health Services (MHS), the parent of Mercy’s primary care and specialty care physician enterprise, known as Mercy Personal Physicians, which employs more than 200 providers with locations in Baltimore, Lutherville, Overlea, Glen Burnie, Columbia and Reisterstown. For more information about Mercy, visit www.mdmercy.com, MDMercyMedia on Facebook, Twitter, or call 1-800-MD-Mercy.
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