Endometriosis Specialist

Dakota Women's Clinic

OB/GYNs located in Mitchell, SD

Endometriosis is among the most common gynecological disorders, affecting as many as 11% of women in their childbearing years. Dr. Michael R. Krause, DO, and physician assistant Michele Peitz diagnose and treat women with endometriosis at Dakota Women’s Clinic in Mitchell, South Dakota. If you think you may have endometriosis, don’t hesitate to call Dakota Women’s Clinic or book an appointment online today.

Endometriosis Q & A

Dakota Women's Clinic

What is endometriosis?

Endometriosis happens when the tissue that usually grows inside your uterus and sheds during your menstrual period begins to develop in other areas outside of your uterus. This tissue, called endometrium, can grow in several locations, such as:

  • The ovaries or fallopian tubes
  • On the outer surface of your uterus
  • At the lining of your pelvis

Less commonly, endometrium may grow on other organs outside your reproductive system, such as your intestines or bladder.

When you have endometriosis, the displaced tissue continues to behave like normal endometrium, growing and shedding with your menstrual cycle. Since it has no place to exit your body, this tissue may cause painful symptoms.

What are the symptoms of endometriosis?

Pelvic pain is the most prominent symptom of endometriosis. This pain typically worsens when you get your period, and can grow more severe over time.

Other common signs and symptoms of endometriosis include:

  • Painful sex
  • Heavy menstrual bleeding
  • Bleeding in-between your periods
  • Difficulty getting pregnant

Who gets endometriosis?

Any woman who gets periods can get endometriosis, but it usually occurs in their 30s and 40s. Endometriosis affects more than 11% of American women aged 15-44.

Certain factors may increase your susceptibility of getting endometriosis, such as:

  • Never having a child
  • Having a mother, aunt, or sister with endometriosis
  • Short menstrual cycles less than 27 days

How does endometriosis affect fertility?

Infertility is the major complication associated with endometriosis. Up to 50% of women with endometriosis have a hard time getting pregnant.

If you want to have a baby, having endometriosis doesn’t mean you have to give up hope. Dr. Krause or Michele can counsel you on ways to improve your chances of getting pregnant.

How do you diagnose and treat endometriosis?

First, Dr. Krause or Michele perform a thorough physical and pelvic exam. If they suspect you may have endometriosis, Dr. Krause may suggest a simple procedure to confirm the diagnosis, such as minimally invasive laparoscopy.

If you have endometriosis, they work with you to create a personalized treatment plan. Depending on your needs, this may include:

  • Lupron Depot injections to relieve pain and reduce symptoms of endometriosis
  • Pain relieving medications
  • Lifestyle remedies

For more information about coping with endometriosis, call or click online to book an appointment at Dakota Women’s Clinic.