What Happens if Endometriosis Goes Untreated?

Your uterus is lined with a specific type of tissue that should only grow inside your uterus. This is known as endometrial tissue. But in women with a condition known as endometriosis, endometrial tissue grows in places where it shouldn't, such as your fallopian tubes, ovaries, bladder, rectum, and elsewhere outside your uterus.

Endometriosis, which is one of the most common gynecological disorders, can cause a range of symptoms, including heavy menstrual bleeding. Fortunately, treatment can help reduce symptoms. But you may wonder what happens if your endometriosis goes untreated.

Here at Virtuosa GYN in San Antonio, Texas, Susan Crockett, MD, and our all-female team of highly trained care providers are experts at diagnosing and treating endometriosis. 

We want to be sure you know whether you have it, and if you do, we work with you to identify a treatment strategy that best fits your symptoms, needs, and family planning goals.

Read on to learn about how treatment can help your endometriosis and why you shouldn’t let endometriosis go untreated.

Endometriosis symptoms

Endometrial tissue is the tissue that bleeds during your menstrual period each month. Because endometriosis leads to the growth of excess endometrial tissue, one of the most common symptoms of this condition is heavy menstrual bleeding. Other symptoms may include:

Diagnosing endometriosis

To determine whether you have endometriosis, we ask you about your symptoms, perform a pelvic exam, and may recommend other types of tests, such as a diagnostic ultrasound. 

We may recommend a laparoscopic procedure that allows us to perform an examination of the tissue inside your pelvic area.

Treating endometriosis

Although there is no cure for endometriosis, treatments can help reduce your symptoms and improve your quality of life. The type of treatment that is right for you depends on your age, your desire to get pregnant, and other factors. Treatment options include:

Pain medication

Over-the-counter or prescription medications can reduce pain from endometriosis.

Hormone treatments

Various types of hormone therapy can address endometriosis symptoms in some women. These treatments include oral contraceptives and hormone therapy given by pill, nasal spray, injection, or intrauterine device (IUD).  

Surgery

We may recommend surgery to remove endometrial tissue or scarring. Whenever possible, we provide fertility-sparing endometrial surgery. At Virtuosa GYN, we specialize in providing patients with minimally invasive laparoscopic surgeries using the da Vinci surgical system.

In some cases, we may recommend a procedure known as endometrial ablation. This is a surgical technique that destroys (ablates) endometrial tissue. Destroying that tissue leads to a reduction in blood loss during your periods. 

It’s not safe to get pregnant after endometrial ablation, so we only recommend it for women who have completed their families.

Left untreated, endometriosis symptoms may continue to worsen over time. They may also affect your ability to get pregnant or to have a successful pregnancy. There's no reason to put up with symptoms when safe, effective treatments are available.

If you’re experiencing heavy bleeding, pain, infertility, or other symptoms, contact us today at our San Antonio, Texas, office to schedule an evaluation.

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