Endometriosis services offered in Lake Forest and Grayslake, IL

Endometriosis is a painful women’s health condition that is often difficult to diagnose. At Women’s Specialty Care SC, with offices in Grayslake and Lake Forest, Illinois, the team led by Karen Mass, MD, FACOG, and Leslie Rubeck, CNM, understands the early warning signs of endometriosis. The team works with you to diagnose your condition and find the best treatment for your unique needs and health care goals. Call Women’s Specialty Care SC today or schedule an appointment online to learn more.

Endometriosis Q & A

What is endometriosis?

Endometriosis is a painful women’s health condition that causes the uterine lining to grow outside of the uterus. Difficult to diagnose, endometriosis can travel beyond the pelvic organs before you receive an official diagnosis. Its symptoms often mimic those of other conditions, like ovarian cysts, so an early diagnosis is essential for proper treatment.

While endometriosis most commonly affects the uterine lining, ovaries, and fallopian tubes, endometrial tissue can attach to the bowels and bladder. The longer endometriosis progresses without treatment, the more difficult it can be to remove the tissue. At Women’s Specialty Care SC, the team provides comprehensive care for endometriosis at all stages.


What are the signs of endometriosis?

Endometriosis can be difficult to identify at first, as your symptoms may seem subtle. However, common warning signs of endometriosis include:

  • Painful menstruation
  • Intense cramps
  • Pain during intercourse
  • Heavy menstrual bleeding
  • Bleeding between periods
  • Pain during urination or defecation
  • Infertility

As endometriosis advances, many women experience fatigue, constipation, bloating, and nausea that worsens during menstruation.


What causes endometriosis?

There is no single cause of endometriosis, but medical experts theorize that the condition can result from surgical scar tissue, certain immune system disorders, or endometrial cell transport from the lymphatic system. Menstrual blood containing endometrial cells can also travel back into the fallopian tubes in some cases.


Common risk factors for endometriosis include:

  • Menstruation at an early age
  • Never giving birth
  • Low body mass index (BMI)
  • A family history of endometriosis 
  • High estrogen levels
  • Short menstrual cycles

Having heavy menstrual cycles, particularly those that last longer than seven days, can also increase your risk of developing endometriosis.


How is endometriosis diagnosed?

After a comprehensive pelvic exam, the team may order imaging scans, such as an ultrasound, to diagnose endometriosis. The best way to detect uterine tissue outside of the uterus is through a laparoscopic, or keyhole, procedure.

During laparoscopic surgery, the team makes small incisions in your abdomen and inserts a camera that displays images on an outside monitor.


What are the treatments for endometriosis?

The treatment plan the team recommends depends on the severity of your condition. Your endometriosis treatments plan may include:

  • Medication
  • Hormonal birth control
  • Progestin therapy
  • Minimally invasive surgery

Advanced endometriosis may not respond to conservative treatments alone. The team may recommend removing your ovaries or a partial or complete hysterectomy to remove the uterus.

Call Women’s Specialty Care SC today or schedule an appointment online to learn more about endometriosis.