Learn Why It’s Important Your OB-GYN Specializes in Endometriosis
When it comes to the treatment and management of endometriosis pain and/or other symptoms, all doctors are not the same. In fact, if you have or suspect you might have endometriosis, you should never just walk into the office of a random obstetrics/gynecology (OB-GYN) surgeon.
However, it can be a bit tricky to find an endometriosis specialist that is highly skilled and follows the best treatment practices for this disorder. If you want to learn more about endometriosis, read this article that gives an introduction to the condition, signs and symptoms, causes, complications, and treatments.
With so many myths about endometriosis (endo) – it’s important to separate facts from fiction. Arm yourself with research and a solid foundation of knowledge to help you simplify the process and to get in touch with a trusted endo expert. Keep reading to find out why it’s so important to use an endo expert, red flags that your doctor/surgeon is not the right fit, and how to find an endometriosis specialist near you.
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This article will cover:
- What is an Endometriosis Specialist?
- How are Endo Specialists Different than Typical Gynecologists?
- The Role of Endometriosis Specialists in Treatment
- Finding the Right Doctor for Endometriosis Treatment
- Considerations When Looking for an Endometriosis Specialist
- Red Flags About a Potential Endometriosis “Expert”
- How Can I Find an Endo Specialist Near Me?
What is an Endometriosis Specialist?
Doctors with extensive experience in treating and caring for patients with this condition are known as endometriosis specialists. They are typically obstetricians and gynecologists (OB/GYNs), which are doctors who treat female pelvic organs, reproductive issues, and deliver babies. Therefore, most endometriosis specialists are also skilled surgeons.
Read more: 7 Ways to Prepare For First Endometriosis Specialist Appointment
How are Endo Specialists Different than Typical Gynecologists?
Practitioners who specialize in endo care mostly for patients with endometriosis. From surgical treatment to medical management, their guidance is unparalleled to that of a gynecologist who serves general patients. You find endometriosis specialists at large teaching hospitals, medical centers, and private practices with gynecological surgeons.
Read more: Endometriosis Signs and symptoms
The Role of Endometriosis Specialists in Treatment
The right specialist will have extensive knowledge of this disorder and the additional surgical training and skills it takes to effectively treat endo and the related conditions. Furthermore, the endo doctor should also have experience with modern techniques and access to state-of-the-art equipment – which often includes robotic or laparoscopic surgical tools. Additionally, openness to complementary treatments and a thorough understanding of various treatments are some other advantages of choosing an endometriosis expert and not just a regular OBGYN.
Patients report the most important thing about a surgeon is that they take their time and carefully listen to you. A good surgeon will pay attention when you speak and not challenge your knowledge or experience.
Read more: Common endometriosis symptoms
Uncommon symptoms of endometriosis
Finding the Right Doctor for Endometriosis Treatment
Endometriosis is a painful disorder that affects up to 10% of women. It is caused by cells similar to those in the lining of the uterus growing outside of it, leading to pain and other symptoms such as fatigue, heavy menstrual cycles, and infertility. As endometriosis can be challenging to diagnose and treat, finding the right doctor for your condition is essential for successful treatment. When selecting a doctor for endometriosis treatment, let’s look at what you should consider.
Types of Doctors
When looking for a doctor to treat your endometriosis, consider seeing an experienced OB-GYN or a Reproductive Endocrinologist (RE) specializing in treating fertility problems. An expert OB-GYN can provide surgical options, general care for your reproductive health, and address any issues related to your pain. They may also be able to refer you to an RE if they believe further testing or treatments are necessary.
An RE specializes in diagnosing and treating difficulties with fertility, including endometriosis. They have received specialized training in reproductive medicine, making them uniquely qualified to diagnose and treat endometriosis. Seeing an RE may help you get a more accurate diagnosis and provide access to treatments such as hormone therapy or surgery that can relieve the symptoms of endometriosis and achieve fertility.
Qualities To Look For
When selecting a doctor for endometriosis treatment, there are certain qualities that you should look for to ensure that you are getting the best care possible. Your doctor should have experience treating endometriosis, understand the physical and psychological aspects of living with this condition, and provide comprehensive care from diagnosis through treatment options and follow-up visits.
Choosing the right doctor for your endometriosis treatment is essential for successfully managing this chronic disorder. When selecting a physician, make sure they have experience treating this condition and understand both its physical and psychological components so they can provide comprehensive care from diagnosis through follow-up visits. By doing so, you can ensure that you receive appropriate care explicitly tailored to your needs and get relief from your symptoms to lead a healthier life.
Considerations When Looking for an Endometriosis Specialist
Your endometriosis specialist will be a teammate with the common goal of getting you to living your best life. Ask a lot of questions and listen to the answers. Here are some considerations when looking for an endometriosis expert near you:
- Does the doctor have experience with various medical conditions related to endometriosis?
- Does the doctor specialize in the treatment of adult or adolescent endometriosis? Or both?
- Is the doctor receptive to your information and input? What is their attitude towards your healthcare treatment?
- Does the doctor rush you through assessments and questions, or do they take their time?
- Does the doctor speak to you in terms you understand? (This is particularly important during the explanation of tests and/or surgical procedures.)
- What is the doctor’s belief on the use of hormonal therapies? Do they have medical justifications for prescribing them? Can they tell you the pros and cons of these options?
- Do you feel comfortable speaking with the doctor? Endometriosis pain and symptoms can be hard to discuss, so it’s important you feel at ease.
- Does the doctor work in cooperation with other professionals to offer holistic treatment, (i.e. physical therapists, pain specialists, psychotherapists, gastroenterologists, etc.)?
Red Flags About a Potential Endometriosis “Expert”
It’s important that you pick an expert who knows what they’re doing to support you. Unfortunately, there are a lot of myths surrounding surgical best practices when it comes to endo treatment. What’s even worse is that some of these options could result in infertility or other issues, and not even address the underlying endometriosis condition.
The following are red flags that could indicate the doctor you are speaking with is not a trusted endometriosis specialist:
- If the doctor views hysterectomy as a definitive treatment. Caution any doctor who says removing your uterus/ovaries will cure you. While this may be the correct course for some patients, it’s not a cure-all solution as endo lesions can affect other body parts and endo tissue could continue to grow.
- If the doctor says endo symptoms will go away with menopause. In medically, naturally, and surgically-induced menopause – there are women who have endometriosis afterward.
- If the doctor says mild stages of endometriosis won’t cause infertility. This is just false. “Mild” or “minimal” stages of endo can still produce significant symptoms, including those that impact fertility.
- If the doctor says that negative tests rule out an endo diagnosis. Tests such as labs, ultrasound, or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can help with diagnosing and staging endometriosis, but they cannot rule it out. Technology has advanced, and transvaginal ultrasound can help in assessing and staging endometriosis, however, it cannot rule out the diagnosis. Same is true for MRIs and laboratory studies.
- Hormone therapy will cure endometriosis. Studies show that hormonal medications can help temporarily reduce endometrial lesions, but they do not cure the disease.
- If the doctor suggests that recurring endometriosis cannot be treated.
- If the doctor tells you that you are too young to have endometriosis. This belief is completely false. In fact, there are adolescents who had chronic pelvic pain that were diagnosed with deep infiltrating endometriosis (DIE).
- If the doctor suggests it’s only irritating bowel syndrome (IBS). Many symptoms of endometriosis and IBS overlap. As such, this is often a misdiagnosis given to people who in fact are suffering from endometriosis. Please notice that this doesn’t mean that the patient doesn’t also have IBS in conjunction with endo.
How Can I Find an Endo Specialist Near Me?
Now that you’ve read more about the importance and what to look for in an endometriosis specialist, are you ready to connect with someone in your area? At iCareBetter, our passion is to connect patients with vetted endo specialists. Go to the directory to learn how we can help you get on the road to health and improve your quality of life.
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