Absolute Health & Wellness News
Each month, your body goes through a cycle. During that cycle, it prepares itself for having baby. That includes building up the uterine lining for implantation. For most women, the lining is built up and shed during their period each month as normal. For some women, the cells that build up normally within the uterus build up within the body cavity outside of the uterus. This is called endometriosis. The women who suffer deal with a number of problems like irregular bleeding, severe pain, and infertility.
If you have endometriosis and you are ready to talk to your doctor about the condition and your options, then the best thing to do is ask the right questions. By getting answers to your questions you can approach your condition, and its treatment, in the best possible manner.
Things to Ask Your Doctor
You need to understand every aspect of your condition so that you know what to expect now and in the future. Here are some of the questions you should ask your doctor.
- What caused my endometriosis?
- Can endometriosis be cured?
- If women in my family have endometriosis, does this raise my chances of being diagnosed with it?
- Are there medications I may be taking that could aggravate or accelerate my condition?
- Are there things in my lifestyle that could be aggravating or accelerating my condition?
- What treatment options do I have?
- How successful are these treatments?
- What kinds of risks and side effects come along with each treatment option?
- Are there changes I can make in my lifestyle to better fend off endometriosis?
- Do I need to stop drinking alcohol or caffeinated beverages?
- Will my chosen treatment option be permanent or will endometriosis come back?
- How will you determine if my condition is truly endometriosis?
- Because I have endometriosis, am I infertile?
- Will treatments for the condition make me infertile?
When Surgery Is Needed
In many cases, your best treatment will be surgery. The tissue that has built up outside the uterus has no way to shed like the cells inside the uterus do. Because of this, it can cause physical pain and can even damage other organs. Your doctor will need to perform surgery in order to remove that tissue. This may be only a part of your treatment. Make sure you understand the surgical procedure completely before you go through with it. Ask about risk, complication, outcome, and recovery time when you speak with your doctor.
Endometriosis can cause a variety of different complications. If it is left to grow unchecked, it can lead to issues like permanent infertility and organ damage. Be sure to see your doctor if you think that you have endometriosis and then ask your doctor all of the questions you have. The questions above are a good place to start and you can always add your own personalized questions. By learning everything you can about endometriosis, you will better be able to face the condition you have and the treatment for it.
Pelvic pain itself is not a syndrome but instead a symptom of an underlying cause. It will be important to try and determine why you are having pelvic pain in order to properly treat it. However, diagnosing the root cause can often involve a trial and error process. Your doctor may need to spend some time using various tests to determine your diagnosis. In the meantime, pelvic pain from an unknown cause can be treated through different manners. Below, you will find information on how your doctor could treat pelvic pain.
Treatment for General Pelvic Pain
Dealing with pelvic pain will begin in a more generalized approach. For your comfort, your doctor will want to treat the pain itself while determining its exact cause. A few of the medication-based treatments that may be used include the following:
- NSAIDs. These nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are usually the first stop in treating chronic pain. These medications can be found in over-the-counter and prescription strengths. You will need to discuss with your doctor which would be best for your pain therapy.
- Narcotics. If you have more severe pelvic pain, then your doctor may suggest the short-term use of narcotic pain medications. However, these medications are highly addictive and dangerous so they cannot be used for long-term pain management.
In addition to the medications, some research has recently found that certain antidepressants called TCAs (tricyclic antidepressant medicines) can reduce the amount of chronic pelvic pain in some women. This is a fairly new method of treatment, so it may not be the avenue that your doctor will choose to recommend.
Treating Pain When You Know the Cause
If your doctor has determined the cause for your ongoing pelvic pain, then the treatment can be focused on managing that cause, and therefore, managing the pain. Here are some of the treatments that would be used for certain conditions:
- For pelvic pain caused by cyclic ovulation, a medication that stops the ovulation process itself may be used. Generally, this would include certain birth control medications.
- For irritable bowel syndrome, antibiotics can be used to manage infection and inflammation.
- For pelvic pain related to endometriosis, GnRH-As (gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists) can be used to stop the production of certain hormones in the body.
- For severe pain from fibroid cysts or endometriosis, your doctor may suggest surgery as the best option to relieve severe chronic pelvic pain. These procedures are now done using minimally invasive methods which means less pain, less bleeding and shorter recovery time. Generally, surgery is used as a last resort since it may include the removal of reproductive organs.
Pelvic pain can seriously disrupt your lifestyle whether it is chronic or cyclical. In order to resolve the pain, you will need to discuss with your doctor the proper diagnosis methods so that the root cause of the issue can be found. In any case, you will want to find pain treatments to give you relief immediately. After that, your doctor can help you determine which long-term treatment option is right for you.
There are times when a hysterectomy is a must in order to deal with medical conditions that can be quite serious. A hysterectomy can be performed in different ways, but the main purpose is to remove the uterus, and at times, the ovaries as well.
It is an extremely common procedure that is used to treat such conditions as severe or abnormal vaginal bleeding, pre-cancerous conditions found in the cervix, uterine fibroids, severe endometriosis, uterine prolapsed, pelvic relaxation, and cancer. In all of these situations, the procedure is often a must in order to protect the health of the patient.
When your doctor determines that a hysterectomy is the proper treatment for you, then you will need to discuss the types that are currently available.
Laparoscopic surgery is a non-invasive method performing a hysterectomy. During this procedure, a light and very small instrument will be threaded through small incisions in the belly.
The benefits to this procedure include small incisions for less pain during recovery and the fact that you get to keep your cervix. However, this procedure cannot be used in cases in which cancer has been found, especially cervical cancer.
Robotic hysterectomy is considered the most non-invasive method of any type of surgical procedure. The procedure makes use of small incisions and a robot controlled device. The surgeon can have the most exact control possible throughout the procedure. The advantage is much lower risk to the patient and the most precise removal of tissues.
Robotic hysterectomies can be used for a variety of different conditions, including cancer. This allows the doctor to have precise control over what tissue is removed and what is not.
In a few very specific cases, a vaginal hysterectomy may be performed. This procedure involves removal of the uterus through the vagina. Some women prefer this method since it seems less invasive. However, it can only be used in cases of hyperplasia, cervical dysplasia, and uterine prolapse. Additionally, vaginal hysterectomies come along with the possibility of severe complications.
Total Abdominal Hysterectomy
This procedure is the most invasive. It involves a full surgical incision in which the doctor will remove everything: the uterus and the cervix as well as the ovaries in some cases. Because it is so invasive, the procedure is only used in certain situations, including:
- ovarian cancer
- large fibroids in the uterus
- severe endometriosis
Talk to your doctor
If your doctor determines that you need a hysterectomy, then it is important for you to go over your options and determine which would be best for your own condition. Not all hysterectomy options are right for each case, so make sure you go over the details with your physician.
The modern world is certainly different from what women had to deal with years ago. Thanks to advances in science and technology, women have a variety of birth control options. These days, you can find choices that guarantee against pregnancy with ratings up to 99.9% if you make use of them properly. You can choose from birth control options that will best suit your lifestyle, but be sure to discuss your top choices with your doctor in order to pick the right one. Here are common choices for birth control that you could consider:
Barrier Methods of Birth Control
Barrier methods include those that block the sperm from ever reaching the egg. They include the following:
- Contraceptive sponge along with a spermicide
- Cervical cap
- Female condom
- Male condom
These types of birth control methods are considered to have the higher chance of failure when compared to other methods. For example, the male condom is about 97% effective. That does not mean they are not viable means of birth control. They just do not get the complete assurance you could find in other choices.
Hormone Based Birth Control
These types of birth control are, by far, the most common. The most important thing about the hormone based methods is that they must be used as directed to be dependable. They include the following:
- The pill
- The contraceptive patch
- Shots or injections
- Vaginal ring
When used properly, these methods are about 99% effective. The common failure of the methods comes from human error.
Implant Methods of Birth Control
For those women who wish to have dependable birth control without having to remember to take a pill every day, there are implantable devices. They include:
- Implantable rods
- IUDs (intrauterine devices)
These two options are long-term methods of birth control. They last up to 10 years. They, especially the rods, should not be used if you think you may wish to have children in the near future.
If you know that you do not want children in the future, then you may want to consider surgical solutions. These methods completely take away the chance of fertilization, so they are the most dependable. However, since they are permanent, you should consider them carefully before making the decision to use them. They include:
- Female implant sterilization
- Vasectomy for men
- Tying or cutting the fallopian tubes in a woman
Called the “Plan B” pill, this emergency contraception can be used the morning after unprotected sex. It has to be taken within 72 hours in order to be effective. This method is not made to be used as a regular birth control but instead as an emergency method in the cases of forgotten birth control, birth control failure, or rape.
As you can see, you have plenty of different birth control options. That means, you can choose one that will best suit your lifestyle. Be sure to discuss the birth control option you would prefer with your doctor so that it can be determined if it is the best choice based on your health and wellbeing.
There are many different complications with heavy menstrual bleeding that you may not have even thought of. For example, many women who have a condition that causes heavy bleeding could suffer from anemia and iron deficiency, which can be dangerous to their health. If you think you have a problem with heavy bleeding, you will need to contact your doctor and discuss your condition as well as your treatment options. Remember that anytime you are dealing with your health, you should have your questions answered before you decide on any treatment option.
To help you get started, here are important questions you should ask your doctor. You may have more questions that you would like ask, but this is a good place to start.
Questions to Ask Your Doctor
- Is my level of bleeding categorized as abnormally heavy? Not all cases of heavier than normal bleeding would be considered clinically heavy. Your doctor can help you decide if you have a condition.
- How do I know if I have low iron because of my bleeding? A blood test will most likely be conducted and then your doctor will give you suggestions for an iron replacement therapy.
- Can you go over my treatment options and tell me the advantages, disadvantages, and risks of each? In some cases, you will have choices and you will want to understand each of those choices before you make a decision.
- How will you go about diagnosing my condition? Your doctor should discuss testing procedures and what you will need to go through in order to determine the cause of your bleeding.
- In severe cases, like endometriosis, is hysterectomy my only option? Surgery could be the best option for you so that you do not have to continue suffering, but you may wish to explore other options before you choose this measure.
- If I should consider endometrial ablation, can you tell me more about the success rates and complications of this treatment? This surgical procedure has numerous uses and it could be the right one for you, but you need to know more about it.
- Will you be able to treat my condition or will I be referred to a specialist? There are some cases when a specialist will be called in and you may need to determine what specialist you will like to see.
- What are the success rates of the treatment we have chosen for my bleeding? Some treatments may not be as successful and you will want to take this into consideration before choosing one particular treatment over another.
Heavy menstrual bleeding is a common condition that affects many women for various reasons. You will need to go to a doctor in order to determine what condition from which you are suffering. Be sure to get all of your questions answered so that you can choose the best treatment option to suit your needs. Do not be afraid to ask any questions you may have no matter how small they may seem.
We are very excited to announce that our own Dr. Molly Long delivered A.J. Diaz, son of Adrian and Jessica Diaz at 12:12pm on 12-12-12 at Bayfront Baby Place, St. Petersburg, FL. After 30 hours of labor at 12 minutes after noon on December 12, 2012, A.J. entered the world.
Dr. Molly Long is one of our best doctors and has years of experience in the delivery room. In addition to deliveries, she specializes in complicated cases that require minimally invasive surgery and other high-risk gynecologic procedures.
Join us in congratulating Adrian and Jessica in the birth of their son A.J. on 12/12/12 at 12:12pm!
If your doctor recommends surgery – either endometriosis resection or hysterectomy – to treat endometriosis, you may be a candidate for da Vinci Surgery at Women’s Care Florida Absolute Health & Wellness. Using state-of-the-art robotic technology, da Vinci® Surgery requires only a few tiny incisions, so you can get back to your life faster. The da Vinci System enables your doctor to operate with enhanced vision, precision, dexterity and control.
da Vinci Endometriosis Resection offers women many potential benefits over traditional laparoscopy, including:
- Low blood loss
- Low rate of complications
- Short hospital stay
- Small incisions for minimal scarring
To learn more, check out our section on [Endometriosis Resection].
It was a beautiful October day and the staff from Women’s Care Florida: Absolute Health & Wellness were honored to participate in the 2012 Breast Cancer Awareness walk here in St. Petersburg, FL. What a great time to WEAR PINK and support breast cancer awareness. In the photo on the right, Dr. Long was present with her two daughters and her mother who participated in the walk.
Our staff came decked out in all of their PINK attire – even the dog:
For the week of Thanksgiving
Wednesday 21st: Closed at noon
Thursday 22nd: Closed
Firday 23rd: Closed
da Vinci® Robotics offers a minimally invasive surgery option for uterine fibroids. The robotic myomectomy procedure combines the best of open and laparoscopic surgery.
The potential benefits of da Vinci Myomectomy as compared to traditional open abdominal surgery are:
- Opportunity for future pregnancy
- Significantly less pain
- Fewer complications
- Less scarring
- A faster return to normal daily activities
To see if a da Vinci Myomectomy is right for you, check out our section on [Minimally Invasive Myomectomy].