FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
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More Frequently Asked Questions
Q: In order to effectively treat Endometriosis, will you require a hysterectomy (removal of the uterus)?
A: No. While a laparoscopic surgical procedure is required, in most cases, a hysterectomy is not necessary and fertility can be preserved.
Q: Is Endometriosis hereditary?
A: Evidence suggests that women may be more likely to develop Endometriosis should a close female relative be diagnosed with the condition (roughly seven times more likely). If a close familial relation (a female sibling or cousin, for example) experiences significant pelvic pain, or very heavy and painful periods during their menstrual cycle, they would be wise to schedule an evaluation.
Q: How common is Endometriosis?
A: It is actually quite common. In fact, it estimated that fully 10% (one in every ten) of women in their reproductive years (menstruating years) has the condition. That’s an estimated 175+ million women worldwide.
Q: Is there a cure for Endometriosis?
A: No, but it can be successfully treated with a combination of long-term treatment that may include hormonal treatments and/or surgical procedures. The oft cited myth that a pregnancy will “cure” Endometriosis is just that…a myth. While the effects of the condition may be reduced in severity during pregnancy and throughout breast feeding, symptoms will ultimately return to prior levels.
Q: Is Endometriosis a form of cancer?
A: Not at all, although Endometriosis cysts are often referred to a beningn tumours. In extremely rare cases, certain forms of cancer have developed from Endometriotic implants, but again, this is extraordinarily rare.
Q: What exactly is Endometriosis?
A: Endometriosis is a condition in which tissue from the inner lining of the uterus (the endometrium) grows outside of the uterus and in other parts of the body, such as the ovaries or fallopian tubes. These misplaced tissues behave like normal endometrial tissue and build up each month, break down and cause bleeding. However, unlike the lining of the uterus, the blood from these growths has no way to leave the body. This internal bleeding inflames the surrounding areas and forms scar tissue, which can negatively affect fertility.
Q: Can Endometriosis and/or the presence of fibroids negatively impact fertility?
A: Yes these condition can, although there may be other potential factors affecting fertility as well. Only an examination can determine whether these conditions are present and, if so, to what degree they may impact fertility.
Q: How do you diagnose and treat Endometriosis?
A: We diagnose Endometriosis through a laparoscopy exam. A number of treatment options for Endometriosis exist, including pharmaceutical treatments that put a woman into chemical menopause, which stops ovulation. We can also perform a hysterectomy. However, if you wish to restore fertility, conservative surgery is the method we use to repair the problem and correct any distorted anatomy.
Q: What is a hysteroscopy?
A: A hysteroscopy is a way for your fertility doctor to look at the lining of your uterus (endometrium). Your doctor will use a thin, lighted viewing device, called a hysteroscope, to see inside your uterus. Hysteroscopy exams are performed in the operating room, with anesthesia. The procedure takes about 10 minutes, but it could take longer if your doctor finds something that can be corrected during the procedure. We perform a hysteroscopy to see if your fertility problems are due to scar tissue or an abnormally shaped uterus caused by fibroids, congenital anomalies or polyps. It may also determine the cause of repeated miscarriages.
Q: What is a laparoscopy?
A: Laparoscopy is considered the gold standard of the infertility evaluation procedures, and no infertility evaluation is complete until a laparoscopy is performed. Your fertility doctor will use a thin, lighted tube called a laparoscope to examine the outside of your uterus, ovaries and fallopian tubes. A laparoscopy examination takes about 30 to 90 minutes, but it can take longer if your doctor finds something that can be corrected at the same time. The exam determines if you have scar tissue or blockages in your fallopian tubes that could be causing fertility problems. This procedure also allows your doctor to find and treat conditions such as Endometriosis, Fibroid Uterus or Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID).
Q: What exactly is a Fibroid Uterus?
A: A Fibroid Uterus is when a woman has uterine fibroids, which are noncancerous growths of the uterus that often appear during childbearing years. Fibroids are not associated with an increased risk of uterine cancer and almost never develop into cancer. Women with uterine fibroids may experience symptoms such as heavy menstrual bleeding, pelvic pressure or pain, and frequent urination. Fibroids can range in size from undetectable by the human eye to large, bulky masses. Bigger fibroids can distort and enlarge the uterus and fallopian tubes, interfere with the passage of sperm from your cervix to your fallopian tubes, or prevent the implantation and growth of an embryo.
Q: How do you treat a Fibroid Uterus?
A: There are several ways to treat a Fibroid Uterus depending on your situation and future plans. If you wish to eliminate your fibroids and still preserve your fertility, your doctors may recommend a surgical treatment called a myomectomy. A myomectomy is most commonly performed through an abdominal incision, allowing your fertility doctor to remove large or multiple fibroids and reconstruct a strong uterine muscle. However, depending on the size and location of the fibroids, myomectomies may also be done with minimally invasive techniques, including using a hysteroscope inserted through the vagina and cervix, or by using a laparoscope threaded through small abdominal incisions. These minimally invasive procedures produce excellent outcomes with less pain, shorter recovery times, fewer risks and no large visible scars.
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