Endometriosis is a chronic condition that can cause pelvic pain, irregular bleeding, even infertility. To improve your quality of life, treatment is often necessary. For the best possible outcome, you need the team from the University of Michigan Endometriosis Center, who are willing to go beyond the condition and take a closer look at the entire patient.

With endometriosis, endometrial tissue grows outside of the uterus. Although not all women with endometriosis have symptoms, the most common symptom of endometriosis is pelvic pain. The pain often correlates with the menstrual cycle, however a woman with endometriosis can experience pain at other times.

Pain may be felt:

  • Before, during, and after menstruation
  • With ovulation
  • With urination
  • With bowel movements
  • During or after sexual intercourse
  • On a daily basis

Women with endometriosis often suffer from many other symptoms such as irregular or heavy menstrual bleeding, infertility, abdominal bloating, diarrhea or constipation, low back pain, and/or fatigue.  Unfortunately, many of these symptoms are non-specific and can occur with other medical conditions that are also common in women with endometriosis (such as irritable bowel syndrome and interstitial cystitis/painful bladder syndrome).

Our goal at The University of Michigan Endometriosis Center is to alleviate the pain, as well as evaluate and treat the other symptoms that are common in women with endometriosis.  To help our patients, we provide a comprehensive evaluation to find out if there are other conditions that may be contributing to your symptoms and then put together a treatment approach that addresses all these areas.

Able To Do What Other Centers Can’t

Our physicians are dedicated to the comprehensive evaluation and treatment of women with endometriosis.  Our team of experts evaluates each patient individually and discusses the treatment options that best suit her needs. We are well-informed on the latest medical and surgical treatments for endometriosis, and are prepared to work with each patient and her primary physician to develop an individual treatment plan that works best for her.

Our vast experience with robotic surgery also allows us to successfully treat advanced stages of endometriosis, as well as treat women who have been told by other physicians they weren’t good candidates for this type of surgery. The clinic team consists of surgical specialists skilled in minimally invasive surgeries, including robotic surgery.  Our team also includes dedicated fellows, nurses and nurse practitioners. Based on each patient's case, we may refer to specialists in reproductive endocrinology and infertility (REI), physical therapy (PT), pain anesthesia, pain psychologists, urology, gastroenterology, and colorectal surgery.

Treatment for endometriosis falls into three major categories:

  • Hormonal – any type of hormonal therapy to suppress the pain associated with endometriosis, including birth control pills, hormone IUD and aromatase inhibitors (a type of hormonal therapy that decreases estrogen levels in the body).
  • Surgical – procedures include minimally invasive surgery to remove endometriosis tissue, cysts on the ovaries related to endometriosis, adhesions (scar tissue), and partial and total hysterectomies.
  • Pain control – medical and behavioral therapies to manage pain symptoms.  These may include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (e.g. ibuprofen), muscle relaxants, and neuropathic medications (e.g. gabapentin, amitriptyline).

Other conditions common in women with endometriosis:

  • Musculoskeletal pain conditions (e.g. pelvic floor myalgia, sacroiliac joint pain, myofascial pain)
  • Interstitial cystitis and painful bladder syndrome
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Chronic Fatigue
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Chronic or recurrent headaches