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Endometriosis develops when endometrial cells from the lining of the uterus migrate outside the uterine cavity and begin to grow on structures such as the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and bladder. There is inflammation around these “dislocated” areas of endometrium, and the inflammation is increased by hormonal changes during the monthly cycles. These displaced endometrial cells bleed just like tissue inside the uterus, but the blood stays in the pelvic cavity rather than flowing outside of the body, causing inflammation, scarring, and pain.

What Causes Endometriosis?

The uterine lining, the endometrium, goes through changes every month in response to hormonal fluctuations. During the beginning of the cycle, the endometrium thickens with a rich supply of blood so that it is prepared to nurture a fertilized egg. If this does not happen, the endometrium is shed in the form of a menstrual period.

The endometriosis outside the uterus continues to respond to hormones also. It thickens each month, breaks down, and bleeds. The blood, however, is trapped in the abdominal cavity, where it causes inflammation, scarring, and pain.

Endometriosis symptoms can include:

  • Heavy menstrual periods
  • Prolonged periods
  • Pelvic pain
  • Painful intercourse
  • Painful periods
  • Painful urination
  • Painful bowel movements

Endometriosis Treatments

Many women diagnosed with endometriosis suffer from significant pain and heavy bleeding. Advanced Endometrial Ablation may be an excellent option for these women!

Dr. Clint Ashford and Dr. Rebecca Ashford at The Ashford Center in Athens, Georgia, can determine if the Advanced Endometrial Ablation procedure would be the right treatment option for you. Dr. Clint Ashford has performed more than 4,000 of these procedures and is the most trusted expert in the Southeast in advanced ablation techniques. Drs. Ashford and their team have published their findings in major medical journals, reporting remarkable and consistent results of Advanced Endometrial Ablation.

Call the experts at The Ashford Center today, or schedule a consultation online to learn more about this procedure.

Medical Conditions Commonly Associated With Endometriosis

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Commonly Asked Questions

When should you see a doctor?

If you are experiencing bloating that does not go away after your period and/or if it is severe enough to affect your daily life.

What causes heavy periods?

Sometimes women are simply genetically predisposed to having heavy, painful periods despite normal anatomy and the absence of gynecologic pathology. However, several gynecologic conditions may also cause heavy menstrual bleeding, including:

  • Uterine fibroids: Noncancerous growths that develop in the uterine wall
  • Uterine polyps: Small growths that develop in the lining of the uterus
  • Endometriosis: A condition in which cells from the uterine lining grow outside the uterus on the surrounding organs
  • Adenomyosis: A condition in which cells from the uterine lining grow into the uterine wall
  • Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS): a common hormonal imbalance problem
  • Thyroid Problems: Both low- and high-thyroid levels may be problematic
  • Anemia: Anemia can be a result of heavy uterine bleeding, but anemia paradoxically can make uterine bleeding worse.

How are “heavy periods” defined?

In 2005, the FDA has formally decided that a woman herself should be the one to determine if her periods are “heavy” or “abnormal”. Therefore, nearly all insurance companies consider Advanced Endometrial Ablation a “covered service” if a woman is tired of having periods and would like to be period-free. In any case, menstrual periods are certainly considered abnormal when they are different from the average cycle. On average, periods last around five days and there should be about 24-38 days between periods.

Your periods are too heavy if:

  • Periods are interfering with your personal life or productivity at work
  • Bleeding lasts more than five days
  • Blood soaks through one or more pads or tampons per hour
  • You need to wear more than one pad at a time
  • You need to change pads or tampons while you sleep
  • You pass blood clots the size of a quarter or larger

If you meet any of these criteria — or if childbearing is complete and dealing with the hassle of periods is becoming a problem— it’s time to schedule a consultation with either Dr. Clint or Dr. Rebecca Ashford at the Ashford Center.

What is Fatigue? (fatigue)

Fatigue is a form of extreme tiredness that causes lethargy and a slowing down of the body and mind. If you have this kind of profound fatigue, you may feel like you have no energy at all from the moment you wake until bedtime. Extra sleep doesn’t help, and trying to push through the fatigue can be impossible. You may even feel like you need to leave work early so you can go home and lie down. It’s hard to be the kind of wife and mother you’d like to be!