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Endometriosis services offered in Fountain Valley, CA

Endometriosis Specialist

What is endometriosis?

Endometriosis develops when tissues like those lining your uterus grow outside the womb. Outside the uterus, the endometrial implants (lesions) grow on your ovaries, fallopian tubes, and uterine wall.

Less commonly, the tissues may grow on your bladder, intestinal wall, and the tissues lining the pelvic cavity.

How does endometriosis affect my health?

The uterine lining (endometrium) thickens every month to support a fertilized egg. If you don't get pregnant, the lining sheds, causing your menstrual period.

The endometrial implants outside your uterus go through the same monthly changes. But when they bleed, the fluids stay trapped in the pelvic area.

As a result, you develop inflammation, scarring, and adhesions. Adhesions consist of bands of abnormal scar tissue that make organs stick together.

What symptoms occur if I have endometriosis?

Pelvic pain is the most common symptom. However, the level of pain you experience doesn't reflect the extent of your endometriosis.

In addition to pelvic pain, you may experience:

  • Severe pain before and during your periods
  • Pain after sexual intercourse
  • Discomfort when urinating
  • Discomfort during bowel movements
  • Lower back pain

Endometriosis ranks as one of the top causes of infertility. Some 40% of women who struggle with infertility have endometriosis.

How is endometriosis diagnosed?

Your symptoms may point toward endometriosis, and ultrasound may pick up some of the endometrial implants, but the only way to accurately diagnose endometriosis is through a biopsy.

To get a biopsy, Dr. Okour performs a minimally invasive laparoscopy. After inserting a slim scope through a small incision, he uses a camera in the scope to see inside your abdomen. After finding the endometrial implants, he removes small tissue samples and sends them to a lab.

How is endometriosis treated?

Dr. Okour treats endometriosis with medication, surgery, or both. Medications can ease your pain and slow the growth of existing endometrial patches. However, they can't eliminate existing lesions, and they don't improve your chances of getting pregnant.

Surgery to remove endometrial implants eases your pain and improves your ability to get pregnant. Though Dr. Okour can destroy the implants with heat, cutting them out produces better results.

Can I have surgery for endometriomas?

Endometriosis can end up growing inside your ovaries. These implants, called endometriomas, affect the eggs inside the ovary (ovarian reserve). Surgery to remove the implants may further damage your eggs.

As a highly skilled endometriosis surgeon, Dr. Okour may be able to remove the endometriomas while preserving your eggs.

If you have pelvic pain or haven't been able to get pregnant, call Southern California Center for Advanced Gynecology, or book an appointment online today.