MHP Explains Endometriosis

Mahaska Health Partnership Explains Endometriosis

Endometriosis Awareness takes place internationally during the month of March and Mahaska Health Partnership encourages you learn more about this seemingly “invisible” disease that effects over 175 million women worldwide.

According to the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), endometriosis is an often painful disorder which is characterized by the growth of uterine tissue, or endometrium, on the outside of the uterus. Endometriosis can grow on the ovaries, bladder or anywhere else in the pelvic area.

“Though research has shown that some factors can be associated with endometriosis, the exact cause is still unknown,” said MHP Family Practice Physician Dr. Leigh Gilburn. “Things like family history, heavy periods and starting menstruation at a young age can be indicators for the disease.”

The most common symptoms of endometriosis include severe menstrual cramping and excessive bleeding, backache and pain associated with bowel movements, exercise, pelvic examinations or sexual intercourse. Endometriosis cannot be prevented and it usually cannot be detected until symptoms have begun.

“Endometriosis is often hard to diagnose because the disease can present itself in a variety of ways,” shared Dr. Gilburn. “If you feel you may be experiencing symptoms of endometriosis, be sure to tell you primary care provider your concerns so that the issue can be more carefully examined.”

Endometriosis can be detected with a pelvic exam, an ultrasound or with laparoscopic surgery. While there is no cure for endometriosis, there are steps your doctor can take to help you manage the disease. Endometriosis can be treated with pain medication, hormone therapy or even surgery if the case is severe.

“National Endometriosis Awareness Month is a chance to educate yourself on the symptoms, diagnoses and treatments for this painful condition,” said Dr. Gilburn.

Dr. Gilburn practices full time on the MHP campus in Oskaloosa. She can treat patients of all ages for acute and primary care needs. If you are in need of a primary care provider, she would be honored to care for you. To make an appointment with Dr. Gilburn, call 641.672.3360.