Endometriosis Awareness Week is March 3rd– March 9th and in recognition of this event, we sat down with Obstetrician/Gynecologist, Dr. Michele Sinopoli, to learn more about this painful, chronic disease that affects more than 6.3 million women and girls in the United States and even more worldwide. Here are some common questions she receives from patients:
What is endometriosis? It is a disease caused by a common problem where the endometrial tissue (the lining of the uterus) is not where it belongs. It can be implanted anywhere else besides the lining of the uterus such as on the ovaries, the intestines, or anywhere in the lining of the abdomen. Sometimes it can even be on the outside of the abdomen. It can cause debilitating symptoms including painful periods and chronic pelvic pain. It can even cause pain with bowel movements.
Can you cure me of endometriosis? Unfortunately, no. It is a chronic condition that needs to be managed over time. The severity of the symptoms can wax and wain over your lifetime. Often in menopause, the symptoms resolve.
Is there a blood test you can do to diagnosis endometriosis? No. We can only formally diagnosis it with laparoscopy. Laparoscopy is a surgery where we place a camera through a small incision in your belly button to look for the endometriosis lesions. Sometimes we treat “presumptively”, meaning we give medication to treat it without doing laparoscopy (if the patient wants to avoid the risks of surgery) and see if the patient’s body responds.
Is endometriosis hereditary? Endometriosis is common and sometimes we see patterns in families. However, there is no known hereditary gene or condition.
About Michele Sinopoli, MD
When she first went to college, Dr. Michele Sinopoli studied bio-medical engineering. However, after a while she realized that being in a lab all day wasn’t what really interested her. “I had a summer job as a bio-medical engineer at a local hospital,” she explains. “One day an obstetrician asked me if I wanted to see a delivery. Once I witnessed the miracle of birth and saw the joy the parents experienced, I knew that was the field...View profile View posts by this doctor