Mercy Gynecologist Dr. Kevin Audlin Discusses Coping With Endometriosis
For some women, painful periods are a given, but there could also be a bigger issue: Studies show at least one in 10 women has endometriosis but has yet to be diagnosed.
"That was probably back when I was maybe like 14 or so, I was having some pretty bad periods and everything like that. At that time, you pretty much thought that that was the norm," said patient Megan Sennett.
Endometriosis occurs when tissue that normally lines the uterus grows outside the uterus.
"It’s insidious. It goes in many different places. It is all-encompassing, and unfortunately, it comes back," said Dr. Kevin Audlin, Director of The Endometriosis Center at Mercy Medical Center.
For Sennett, the symptoms started to affect her everyday life.
"When you become kind of a hermit during those first few days, you’re like, 'OK, something’s just not quite right,'" she said.
According to Dr. Audlin, the symptoms of endometriosis can be hard to pinpoint at first.
"They are very vague, and that’s the biggest problem. We know that conservatively 10% of all pre-menopausal woman have endometriosis, but all women that are pre-menopausal have cycles for the most part, so why do only 10% get the disease?" Dr. Audlin said.
Endometriosis mainly impacts a woman during her reproductive years but can start as soon as a girl gets her period.
"The assumption is that bleeding from this causes the retrograde menstruation into the pelvis -- the less you bleed, the less likelihood you’re going to have of endometriosis," Dr. Audlin said.
Treatment starts with managing a woman’s hormones. Surgery is a more advanced treatment.
View Mercy gynecologist Dr. Kevin Audlin’s interview regarding 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.