Mercy Gynecologist Dr. Kevin Audlin Discusses Diagnosis and Treatment of Endometriosis
Endometriosis is a painful reality for 10 percent of women in their reproductive years.
The disease is one that affects women of all races and ethnic backgrounds, but many women suffer with it for years because it can be difficult to diagnose.
When Brittney Palmer found out she had endometriosis, she wasn't surprised. She had been suffering with symptoms for years.
“It's a sinking pain like a pain sets in, and it's very heavy, and it feels sharp and sort of like you get an electric pulse through your pelvis and it never lets up,” Palmer said.
According to gynecologist Dr. Kevin Audlin, co-director of The Endometriosis Center at Mercy Medical Center, that is because endometriosis is a progressive disease that gets worse over time.
“Menstrual blood that should come out, normally, monthly, actually backs up through the Fallopian tubes into the pelvis, and these ladies' bodies, for some reasons, aren't able to identify that it's something that shouldn't be there,” Dr. Audlin said.
“It stays in the belly and month over month, year after year, it gets worse and worse. It's a clearer sign of it when it begins not only with the cycles, but extends outside of cycles,” he added.
Endometriosis is difficult to identify through blood tests or imaging, making it hard to diagnose.
“So the early stage of the diseases that cause lots of pain, lots of quality of life issues, it's more of a clinical diagnosis,” Dr. Audlin said. "You have to listen to the patient. Not a lot of doctors are able to take the time to listen to the patient to kind of tease out the disease.”
For Palmer, laparoscopic surgery was the answer to get rid of her debilitating disease.
“I haven't been in any every day pain since four days after the surgery, so it's been great, the recovery was fast, and I feel a lot better,” Palmer said.
View Mercy gynecologist and endometriosis expert Dr. Kevin Audlin’s interview regarding the diagnosis and treatment of endometriosis.
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.