|Showing posts with category women's care. Show all posts|
Dr. Yarroch Talks About Endometriosis
Mar. 22, 2018 5:31 pm
Are you doubling over in pain during your period? Do you have cramps you just can't seem to shake throughout the month? For 1 in 10 women, these killer cramps are more than just your average visit from Aunt Flo, they're a symptom of endometriosis. Although endometriosis affects 176 million women worldwide, many go undiagnosed. Here's what you need to know about this painful disease and how to find out if endometriosis could be affecting you.
What is Endometriosis?
"Endometrial cells are what make up the lining of the uterine cavity," Dr. Yarroch explains. "In women with endometriosis, these cells are found in implants outside of the uterus where they cause inflammation."
This inflammation can result in pain and significant scarring to the surrounding tissue.
What Causes Endometriosis?
"There are various theories about what causes endometriosis, but the most accepted theory was first described in the 1920's and is referred to as retrograde menstruation," Dr. Yarroch says.
In this theory, it is proposed that there is a backflow of menstrual blood and tissue from the uterus through the fallopian tubes and into the pelvis.
"We do have evidence that there is an increased risk of endometriosis in women with heavy menstrual bleeding and longer or more frequent menstrual cycles," Dr. Yarroch says.
Doctors also know that estrogen plays a role and women who have a close female relative with endometriosis are 5-7 times more likely to have it themselves.
Spotting the Symptoms
Although it's a common misconception that endometriosis only occurs in women over the age of 20, the truth is that the disease can develop as soon as a girl gets her first period and can span the rest of a woman's reproductive years.
"The most common symptom of endometriosis is pelvic pain," Dr. Yarroch says. While this pain usually coincides with menstruation, some women can experience this symptom throughout their entire cycle.
Other symptoms to look out for include:
Pain during or after sex
Severe cramps that do not go away with NSAIDs or that impede the activities of your everyday life
A heavy menstrual flow
Periods that last longer than 7 days
Nausea or vomiting
Urinary and bowel disorders
Difficulty getting pregnant
Not every woman will experience all of these symptoms, but approximately 30%-40% of women who have endometriosis will experience issues with fertility.
Getting a Diagnosis
If you suspect that you may have endometriosis, we encourage you to speak with your doctor or make an appointment with one of the amazing providers at Women's Care. The only way to know for sure whether or not you have endometriosis is through a surgical procedure called laparoscopy.
Treating the Symptoms
There are a wide range of treatment options for endometriosis and your doctor may suggest a few less invasive methods before ordering a biopsy. At Women's Care, we work with you to choose a plan that fits your needs and your lifestyle. Some of the most common treatments include:
The use of NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen (advil, motrin) and naproxen sodium (aleve). NSAIDs can help relieve or lessen the pain caused by endometriosis by stopping the release of prostaglandins, one of the main chemicals responsible for painful periods. While NSAIDs can help manage the pain-related symptoms of endometriosis for some women, it's not effective in every case.
Birth control methods such as the pill, the patch and the ring are often helpful to treat the pain associated with endometriosis because they reduce heavy bleeding. This method works best for women who only have severe pain during their period and not during the rest of their cycle.
Progestins are recommended for women who do not get pain relief from or who cannot take hormonal birth control that contains estrogen (such as smokers). This synthetic form of the natural hormone progesterone is available by prescription as a pill or an injection.
GnRH therapy uses medicines that work by causing temporary menopause. The treatment actually causes the ovaries to stop producing estrogen, which causes the endometriosis implants to shrink.
For some women, surgery may be the best treatment method. While there isn't a cure for endometriosis yet, it is possible to remove some of the the scar tissue and lesions with surgery.
If you have endometriosis, surgery could be an option if you:
Have severe pain
Have tried medications, but still have pain
Have a growth or mass in the pelvic area that needs to be examined
Are having trouble getting pregnant and endometriosis might be the cause
"It is important to note that there are other conditions that can cause many of the same symptoms as endometriosis," Dr. Yarroch explains. "An OB/GYN can help determine if endometriosis is the appropriate diagnosis."
So What Now?
"Endometriosis can have a significant impact on a woman's life. Fortunately, there are treatment options available to manage pain and minimize recurrence," Dr. Yarroch says.
If you have endometriosis or believe you could have endometriosis, we strongly encourage you to speak with your doctor or one of our highly trained providers. We want you to know that at Women's Care, we're devoted to you and your health. We're here to meet both your physical and your emotional needs each step of the way, from diagnosis to treatment and recovery.
Join our Circle of Care and request an appointment with us today! -
Changes To Pap Smear Screening Guidelines
Dec. 20, 2017 8:58 am
If you're like most women who dread having to get a Pap smear done at your yearly wellness check, you're in luck! Changes in the Pap smear screening guidelines now advise against annual Pap smears for the majority of women. We sat down with Dr. Valary Gass at Women's Care of Wisconsin to discuss what guidelines have changed so you know what to expect at your next gynecologist visit.
First, Let's Talk About What A Pap Smear Is
Even though Pap smears are no longer a yearly requirement, they're still important! Pap smears are
used to screen for cervical cancer in women. The test itself is used to collect cells from your cervix
and it helps your gynecologist screen for changes in your cervical cells that indicate cancer may
develop in the future. Cervical cancer is a particularly aggressive disease, so catching it early on
through Pap smear screening is crucial!
How Often Do You Actually Need To Have A Pap Smear Done?
All of the recent changes to the Pap smear screening guidelines have caused a lot of confusion
about when women should be screened, but the real answer is that it depends on the age, health,
and family history of each woman.
"The new guidelines state that women should start screening at the age of 21," Dr. Gass says,
but most women don't need to be screened every year.
"Women over the age of 21 should have a Pap smear done every 3 years," Dr. Gass explains.
"At age 30, women can continue getting a Pap smear every 3 years or they can choose to get a
Pap smear with HPV co-testing every 5 years."
For women who cringe at the thought of getting their next Pap smear done, these new guidelines
are great, but it's important to remember that your health and family history are also factors when
it comes to determining how often you should be screened.
If you have had an abnormal Pap smear in the past, have a history of cervical cancer, are HIV+,
have a weakened immune system, or if you were exposed to diethylstibestrol (a synthetic form of
estrogen) in utero, you may need to be screened more frequently.
Dr. Gass also points out that women should not stop screening unless advised by their doctor.
"If you have questions about when you should be screened, how often you should be screened or
when you should stop screening, please have a frank conversation with your doctor," Dr. Gass
Keep Seeing Your Gynecologist Annually -- Even If You Don't Need A Pap Smear
Just because you get to skip your Pap smear this year doesn't mean you should skip your annual
wellness check too! For many women, their gynecologist is the only doctor they see each year.
Your annual wellness check is an opportunity to go over more than just your cervical cells -- plus,
it's covered by the Affordable Care Act! So do your body a favor and don't skip your annual
Schedule An Appointment
If you would like to schedule an appointment with one of our providers at Women's Care, you can
call us at 920-729-7105 or click here. -