Alecia Giovinazzo MD
Board Certified Obstetrics & Gynecology located in Staten Island, NY
Many women experience pelvic pain, especially in the days leading up to their periods. However, if your pelvic pain is severe or seems to last longer than it should, you may have endometriosis. The team of women’s health specialists at Alecia Giovinazzo, MD offers expert treatment for women suffering from endometriosis. To get the answers you need and relief from your pelvic pain, call the office in the Sunnyside neighborhood of Staten Island, New York City, or schedule an appointment online today.
What is endometriosis?
Endometriosis is a painful gynecological condition that affects more than 11% of American women between the ages of 15 and 44.
With endometriosis, the tissue (endometrium) that normally lines your uterus, grows on other organs in your pelvic region, such as your ovaries, fallopian tubes, or outside of your uterus.
Every month, your uterus grows endometrial tissue filled with blood and nutrients in preparation for pregnancy. When you don’t get pregnant, your uterus sheds the lining through menstruation.
If you have endometriosis, the endometrium found outside the uterus grows and tries to shed in tune with your menstrual cycle. However, the tissue has nowhere to go, which may cause pain, inflammation, and scarring.
What are the symptoms of endometriosis?
Severe pain during your period, called dysmenorrhea, is the most common symptom of endometriosis. However, endometriosis may also cause:
- Heavy menstrual bleeding
- Pain during sex
- Chronic pelvic or low back pain
- Discomfort when having a bowel movement or urinating
- Diarrhea or constipation
Endometriosis symptoms are similar to those of other medical conditions, which can make getting an accurate diagnosis difficult.
How is endometriosis diagnosed?
Your provider at Alecia Giovinazzo, MD conducts a thorough evaluation when you come in with symptoms that sound like endometriosis. During your exam, they ask detailed questions about your symptoms, including the severity of your pain, when it occurs, and any activities that worsen your discomfort.
They also review your personal and family medical history and then perform a physical and pelvic exam.
To rule out other causes of your symptoms, your practitioner may request various diagnostic tests, such as:
- Testing for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)
- An in-office ultrasound
- An MRI
Although the team may be able to diagnose endometriosis based on the information gathered during your exam, the only way to confirm a diagnosis is through a laparoscopy.
During the minimally invasive diagnostic procedure, your OB/GYN evaluates your reproductive organs using a laparoscope (surgical camera) and takes tissue samples that are then sent to the lab for evaluation.
How is endometriosis treated?
The team works closely with you to develop a personalized treatment plan to help you manage your endometriosis symptoms.
Your treatment plan may include:
- Pain medication
- Hormonal birth control to control endometrial tissue growth
- A gonadotropin-releasing hormone (Gn-RH) agonist
- Progestin therapy to stop menstruation
- Aromatase inhibitor to reduce estrogen production
If conservative measures fail to alleviate your symptoms, the team may recommend surgery to remove the endometrial growths.
To get the answers you need, call the office of Alecia Giovinazzo, MD or book an appointment online today.