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March 10, 2016 | Administration • OB/GYN
Brooke Walker: Welcome back to Studio 5. It’s a condition that is often difficult to diagnose and can stem from multiple issues in some cases. Dr. David Young from Revere Health is here to help us understand the cause of endometriosis and when you should consult a doctor. It’s good to see you.
Dr. Young: Yeah, thanks for having me.
Brooke: Thanks for being here. I know this affects a lot of women, give us a baseline diagnosis. What is endometriosis exactly?
Dr. Young: So basically, endometriosis is when the lining of the uterus that a woman would normally shed with her period starts to grow somewhere besides the inside of the uterus. So by the ovaries, or by the fallopian tubes or somewhere in the pelvis. It can even be found in other parts of the body as well.
Brooke: I have had friends who have been diagnosed when they are well down the road. Is that hard to catch when you’re young?
Dr. Young: It can kinda depend on the severity of it, but it can start even in the high school years. That’s one of the warning signs – when young women start missing school because of how painful their periods are or when women miss work because of it and things like that.
Brooke: So painful periods we should look for. Are there any other symptoms?
Dr. Young: Heavier bleeding.
Brooke: Okay. And treatment options, talk to us about that and what can be done.
Dr. Young: A lot of treatment options. One of the first baseline therapies is some form of birth control. That can be a pill, that can be something like an IUD (Intrauterine Device), it can be anti-inflammatories like Ibuprofen or Motrin. From there, we move up to other medications. There’s a medicine that actually shuts off the ovaries temporarily called Lupron. We usually do that for three to six months. Surgeries are a very good option. Surgery can improve fertility for women that have infertility problems for three to four months afterwards.
“That’s one of the warning signs – when young women start missing school because of how painful their periods are or when women miss work because of it and things like that.”
Brooke: I want to ask a little bit more about that. What does the surgery entail, though?
Dr. Young: There’s a laparoscopic surgery, so usually they go home the same day. We put a camera through the bellybutton. All the incisions are small – about a half centimeter in size. We look around. We find spots of endometriosis. We can excise them, we can burn them, use a littler laser on them, and basically get rid of as much of that disease as we can and that improves pain for a year or more and can improve fertility as well.
Brooke: Well my mom struggled with this – I mentioned to you during the commercial break – All I remember, I was young but I remember the pain, just how painful it is. How soon can you get relief with one or more of these treatments?
Dr. Young: Sometimes right away. Absolutely right away. Some women will find, you know, if they’re pregnant, and then they’re nursing and then they’re on birth control, that maybe they feel good for a while but then later, when they’re out of that phase of their life maybe the pain gets worse again and so that can be kind of a warning sign of that as well.
Brooke: And you mentioned a link to the fertility, I know for a lot of women, that’s the driving reason to get this addressed.
“Some women will find, you know, if they’re pregnant, and then they’re nursing and then they’re on birth control, that maybe they feel good for a while but then later, when they’re out of that phase of their life maybe the pain gets worse again and so that can be kind of a warning sign of that as well.”
Dr. Young: It can. It can be, yeah. There is a new treatment for it as well. It’s not FDA-approved, but my clinic is doing an investigational medication and we’re seeing great results with it. It’s an oral pill and it’s seen a lot of success in reducing pain.
Brooke: Who would be a good candidate for that experimental medication?
Dr. Young: Someone who is over 18 and has a surgical diagnosis of endometriosis and doesn’t want to get pregnant for a year or more.
Brooke: It has a year, at least, to work around it. Where are you located?
Dr. Young: Pleasant Grove, Utah is our main office but we also see patients in Eagle Mountain as well as in Provo.
Brooke: So is this one of your specialties then?
Dr. Young: It is.
Brooke: Do you have a website?
Dr. Young: We do, yeah. reverehealth.com
Brooke: Okay. Dr., thank you so much.
Dr. Young: Thank you.
Brooke: Really good information. And it’s nice to know that new treatment options are on the horizon as well. We’ll link you over to the Revere website from our website: studio5.ksl.com. Coming up next, a new voice for moms, we’ll be back.
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This information is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. You should always consult your doctor before making decisions about your health.