SIMEDHealth

What is Endometriosis?

Endometriosis affects about 1 in 10 women during their reproductive years. March is Endometriosis Awareness Month, and we discussed endometriosis and possible complications with SIMEDHealth gynecologist Oscar Osorio, MD.

1. What is Endometriosis?

“Endometriosis is a chronic condition seen in women where endometrial tissue, normally found lining the inside of the uterus, is found in places outside of the uterus.  The abnormal tissue growths can occur on the fallopian tubes, ovaries, intestines, or any surface inside the abdomen,” says Dr. Osorio. “Just like the lining inside the uterus, during menstruation, the endometrial tissue growing outside the uterus becomes inflamed and can cause pain.”

Symptoms for endometriosis include painful periods, heavy periods, pain during or after sexual intercourse, lower back pain, abdominal pain, and bad cramping around menstruation. Some women don’t have any symptoms, yet endometriosis can affect fertility, so it is essential to see your gynecologist regularly so they can monitor for any signs or changes.

2. What are the possible causes of endometriosis?

“The actual cause is unknown, but there are several theories. One of the most widely accepted theory is there is retrograde menstruation, which is when the menstrual blood flows back through the fallopian tubes into the pelvic cavity.  This then results in endometrial tissue implants developing outside the uterus,” says Dr. Osorio.

3. Why is endometriosis hard to diagnose?

“Endometriosis may be easily suspected, but it cannot be easily seen on x-ray, ultrasound, or other imaging studies,” said Dr. Osorio.  “It needs to be seen directly to be diagnosed.  This can be done by laparoscopy, which is a minor surgical procedure.”

4. What are some complications people will endometriosis may experience?

Dr. Osorio explains, “Endometriosis may potentially cause infertility, damage to some organs, and debilitating pain if not managed properly.” According to the Mayo Clinic, about 30-40% of women with endometriosis have issues getting pregnant. “Dealing with a chronic condition can also cause depression, anxiety, or other mental health conditions.”

5. What are the treatment options?

“The first line of treatment or initial treatment is usually hormonal regulation with birth control pills or other similar hormonal medications,” Dr. Osorio reports.  These can help regulate the menstrual cycle, which often lessens the pain. There are other types of medications for chronic use that may be used.  These are used in short, repeating courses. Surgical intervention with excision of lesions, removal of cysts, and excision of scar related adhesions may be required. Ultimately in patients with no response to treatment, full hysterectomy with removal of ovaries may be needed.”

 

Click here to schedule an appointment with Dr. Osorio or one of our other qualified gynecologists.

VIDEO: SIMEDHealth Women's Health Gets New Technology

SIMEDHealth Women’s Health has taken a step forward with the acquisition of a device called the EndoSee. This new technology makes the hysteroscopy procedure quicker, easier, and more effective. A hysteroscopy is an assessment of the inside cavity of the uterus, according to Dr. Osorio of SIMEDHealth Women’s Health. The EndoSee is a handheld device that lets doctors see the inside of the uterine cavity quicker and easier than ever before. According to Endosee.com, this device allows doctors to complete a hysteroscopy “in an average of 3 minutes.” Anesthesia was normally necessary for hysteroscopy before but, now with the EndoSee, no anesthesia is needed.

Prior to the EndoSee, patients normally were given a sedative and anesthesia. The procedure could have lasted anywhere between 5 minutes to an hour and required more time after to recover from the sedatives, anesthesia, and procedure itself.  

 

 

Other available services at SIMEDHealth Women’s Health include:

  • wellness exams
  • pap smears
  • annual exams
  • urinary incontinence
  • hematuria
  • UTI testing
  • urodynamics
  • pre and post-menopausal natural hormone therapy
  • birth control comprehensive evaluations of pelvic pain
  • endometriosis and endometrial biopsy
  • pelvic organ prolapse
  • colposcopy/abnormal pap smears
  • abnormal uterine bleeding
  • osteoporosis evaluation and management
  • pelvic pain
  • mass and inflammatory disease
Click here for more information about our women’s health doctors and locations!

Cervical Cancer Screening Guide

Women laughing with information about pap smear and cervical cancer screening

January is Cervical Health Awareness Month. Cervical cancer was once one of the most common causes of cancer death for American women, but now it can be easily prevented with vaccinations and regular screenings.

Learn more about cervical cancer and cervical health with SIMED Ocala Women’s Health Physician, Dr. Oscar Osorio.

1. What exactly is cervical cancer?

Cancer is an abnormal growth of cells on any tissue. The growth is invasive and spreads to adjacent and distant organs, causing damage to tissues. Cervical cancer is cancer of the “tip” or distal area of the uterus.

2. What part of the body is the cervix?

The cervix is the lower, neck-part of the uterus that leads to the vagina. It is where the menstrual flow exits the uterus. The cervix is accessible and seen in the vagina during a gynecologic exam.

3. Who is cervical cancer common in?

Cervical cancer is caused by the HPV virus. The HPV virus is a sexually acquired organism that infects the cervical cells, potentially causing cancer. Although the virus is most common in younger women, teenagers, and women in their early 20s, cervical cancer itself is more common in women older than 30. Women who smoke are at increased risk, as are women with immune deficiencies and those with HIV infection.

4. What is a cervical screening? How does it work?

Infographic showing that HPV and cervical cancer are common in women of certain age groups

A cervical screening is a test designed to identify HPV infections on the cervix in early stages, and thus, avoid progression of the disease to cancer. If cervical cancer is identified, the patient will receive treatment and will be put under surveillance as needed.  You can get tested for cervical cancer with a Pap smear.

5. How often should people get a cervical screening?

Screenings with pap smear should start at age 21, and current recommendations state a pap smear should be performed at least every 3 years.

6. How else can people avoid cervical cancer?

Other than getting a pap smear as recommended, because HPV is a sexually acquired disease, using condoms could potentially decrease risk. Additionally, refraining from smoking could also reduce the risk. Because cervical cancer is linked to HPV, you should also get vaccinated against HPV. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend vaccination at ages 11-12, but women can be vaccinated up to age 26.

7. Aside from a screening, what symptoms might indicate someone has cervical cancer?

Early cervical cancer is mostly free of symptoms. One of the most common symptoms, though, is abnormal vaginal bleeding, especially after or during intercourse.

Have you gotten screened for cervical cancer? You can get a screening at the SIMED Women’s Health clinics in Gainesville, Ocala, Lake City, Chiefland, or Lady Lake.

To schedule an appointment, call:
Gainesville, Lake City, Chiefland: (352) 331-1000
Ocala, Lady Lake: (352) 391-6464
Or you can request an appointment online.

If you would like to schedule an appointment specifically with Dr. Osorio in Lady Lake or Ocala, call (352) 391-6464 or request an appointment online.