Ovarian endometriosis: what it is, symptoms and treatment
Ovarian endometriosis, also called endometrioma, is a condition in which endometrial tissue, which should be inside the uterus, also develops in the ovary, which can lead to difficulty getting pregnant and very intense cramping during the menstrual period.
The doctor can find out that the woman has endometriosis in the ovary through a transvaginal or pelvic ultrasound, in which the presence of an ovarian cyst larger than 2 cm and filled with dark fluid is observed.
The treatment for endometriosis in the ovary indicated by the gynecologist may vary according to the woman’s age and extent of endometriosis, and the use of medication to relieve symptoms or surgery to remove the ovary may be indicated.
Endometriosis in the ovary can cause symptoms such as:
- Very strong cramping during menstruation;
- Blood in the stool, especially during menstruation;
- Pain during intimate contact.
In addition, women with endometriosis also tend to have difficulty conceiving, even after 6 months to 1 year of trying.
Endometriosis online test
If you think you may have endometriosis, select your symptoms to find out what the odds are:
How to confirm the diagnosis
The diagnosis is made by the gynecologist based on vaginal examination and imaging tests, such as transvaginal ultrasound, in which bowel emptying must be performed previously, or through magnetic resonance imaging. Thus, through these tests, the doctor will be able to know the extent of ovarian endometriosis and indicate the most appropriate treatment.
Can ovarian endometriosis interfere with pregnancy?
As the ovary is compromised, the amount of eggs produced becomes more reduced, which causes a woman’s fertility to be impaired. The chances of pregnancy in women with ovarian endometriosis decrease each month as the disease progresses. In addition, the doctor may recommend surgery to remove this tissue, especially when the disease is more advanced, but the surgery itself can negatively affect the ovary, impairing the woman’s fertility.
Thus, the doctor may recommend that the woman start trying to get pregnant as soon as possible, or may indicate the egg freezing technique, so that in the future the woman can decide if she wants to do artificial insemination and have children.
How is the treatment done?
Treatment will depend on the woman’s age, reproductive desire, symptoms and extent of the disease. In cases where the tissue is less than 3 cm, the use of medication to reduce symptoms can be effective, but in more severe cases, where the cyst is more than 4 cm, laparoscopic surgery is indicated to scrape the endometrial tissue or even removal of the ovaries.
Endometrioma does not go away on its own, nor with the use of birth control pills, but these can reduce the risk of developing new endometriosis in the ovary after its removal through surgery.
In some cases, the gynecologist may also indicate the use of some drugs to relieve symptoms and prevent the progression of endometrioma, however this indication is made more often for women who are already in menopause.
Watch the video with Dr. Helizabet Ribeiro, a gynecologist specializing in endometriosis who clarifies all doubts about this disease:
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