Arizona Women's Health Partners
OB-GYNs located in Mesa, AZ
Pelvic pain is a common problem that can have many different causes, including endometriosis. Thomas Bickley, DO, and Eericca Bickley, DO, of Arizona Women’s Health Partners can determine the cause of pelvic pain and endometriosis and provide women in Mesa, AZ and serving Gilbert, AZ, effective treatment options. Patients with endometriosis or other pelvic pain can schedule an appointment with Dr. Thomas or Dr. Eericca by contacting the office.
Pelvic Pain and Endometriosis Q & A
What is pelvic pain?
Pelvic pain is discomfort that occurs in the lowest part of the abdomen and pelvis. While some patients experience this pain intermittently, others experience constant pain. Pelvic pain may be sharp or dull, and it can range in severity.
What causes pelvic pain?
Many possible causes of pelvic pain exist, including:
- Ovarian cysts
- Ovulation pain
- Uterine fibroids
- Menstrual cramps
- Ectopic pregnancy
How is the cause of pelvic pain determined?
When a patient comes to Arizona Women’s Health Partners with pelvic pain, Dr. Thomas or Dr. Eericca will begin by performing a thorough physical exam and analyzing the patient’s medical history. They will also ask the patient to describe the pain and answer questions about symptoms and other issues related to the pain. Depending on the situation, they may order tests to look for the cause of the pain as well. Possible tests for pelvic pain include:
- Blood tests
- Pregnancy tests
- Pelvic ultrasound
In most cases, the doctor will be able to determine the cause of pelvic pain based on the results of these tests.
How does Arizona Women’s Health Partners treat pelvic pain?
The treatment options recommended to patients with pelvic pain will depend on the cause of the pain. For example, if the patient has ovarian cysts, endometriosis, or uterine fibroids, Dr. Thomas or Dr. Eericca may offer medications and/or surgical procedures to the patient. In other cases, such as an uncomplicated miscarriage, patients may simply be able to wait for the pain to go away on its own. Some more serious issues, such as cancer or ectopic pregnancy, may require prompt treatment.
Regardless of the cause of pelvic pain, Dr. Thomas or Dr. Eericca always take the time to discuss all available treatment options with the patient in detail so that she can make an informed decision.
When should patients make an appointment for pelvic pain?
In some cases, patients may already know what’s causing their pain. However, even if a patient knows the most likely cause of the pain, she should still make an appointment at Arizona Women’s Health Partners if the pain disrupts her life. Patients should also make an appointment when they experience new or worsening pelvic pain.
What is endometriosis?
Endometriosis is a common condition that occurs when tissue that normally forms the lining of the uterus begins growing in other locations. The most common sites are the:
- Fallopian tubes
- Tissues lining the pelvis
However, in rare cases, endometriosis may spread farther outside of the uterus.
What causes endometriosis?
Researchers have proposed several possible causes of endometriosis, including:
- Immune system abnormalities
- Attachment of endometrial cells to surgical scars
- Transformation of peritoneal cells or embryonic cells into endometrial cells
- Problems with the flow of menstrual blood
What are the symptoms of endometriosis?
Some of the most common symptoms of endometriosis include:
- Pain during periods
- Pain with urination or bowel movements, especially during periods
- Pain with intercourse
- Excessive bleeding during the period
- Bleeding between periods
Some women with endometriosis may also experience other symptoms, such as:
How is endometriosis diagnosed?
Dr. Thomas or Dr. Eericca may suspect endometriosis based on the patient’s description of her symptoms. If endometriosis is suspected, the doctor will begin by performing a pelvic exam. They may also order additional tests, such as an ultrasound or a laparoscopy, to look for endometriosis in the uterus.
How does Arizona Women’s Health Partners treat endometriosis?
Some women with endometriosis may be able to control their symptoms by using pain medications and hormone therapies. However, in cases where treatment with drugs isn’t effective, Dr. Thomas or Dr. Eericca may recommend surgery. In a conservative surgical procedure, the doctor will use the least invasive method possible to access the endometriosis and remove it while preserving healthy tissue. However, in cases where the endometriosis is severe and the patient doesn’t want any more children, a hysterectomy may be the best choice.
What options are available to women who have infertility because of endometriosis?
Some women with infertility related to endometriosis can become pregnant after conservative surgery. In cases where women want to avoid surgery, assisted reproduction may be effective. However, the symptoms of endometriosis are likely to return after the woman delivers, so further treatment may be necessary in the future. Dr. Thomas or Dr. Eericca can explain all of these issues in detail so that patients can weigh their options and make the best choice.
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