Irregular or heavy menstrual bleeding is often the first sign there may be a uterine disorder. At Pearl Women's Center we offer diagnosis and treatment of uterine disorders in Portland in addition to complete healthcare for women.
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Common Uterine Disorders
Pearl Women's Center practitioners have a high level of expertise in evaluating and treating uterine disorders including:
- Adenomyosis. Adenomyosis is a very common condition found in women with heavy and/or painful periods. Menorrhagia is the medical term for heavy flow. Dysmenorrhea is the medical term for painful flow. Adenomyosis occurs when glandular endometrial cells, normally found lining the uterine cavity, invade the muscle of the uterus. This causes the uterine muscle to function abnormally. Many women with adenomyosis complain of very heavy menstrual flow and painful menstrual flow, often accompanied by passage of large blood clots vaginally.
While the exact cause of adenomyosis is unknown, some believe the condition occurs as a result of previous uterine surgery, such as a cesarean delivery. Adenomyosis typically does not respond well to management with medication. The definitive cure for adenomyosis is hysterectomy a gynecological surgery procedure.
- Fibroids. Fibroids are muscular tumors that grow in the wall of the uterus. They are almost always benign (non-cancerous). Fibroids are most common in women in their 40's and early 50's and can have a significant impact on a woman's life. Moderate to severe pain, heavy menstrual bleeding and painful intercourse are common. Fibroids may also put pressure on the bladder or rectum, causing frequent urination, or rectal pressure respectively. Depending on the severity of symptoms, treatment for fibroids can range from medication to surgical removal or hysterectomy.
- Polyps. Uterine polyps are formed by an overgrowth of normal tissue and are most common in women in their 40's and 50's. They are generally benign but in rare instances can contain cancerous cells. Symptoms include irregular or heavy menstrual bleeding, bleeding between periods or bleeding after menopause. Polyps are generally removed in a procedure called a hysteroscopy. A thin, flexible, lighted telescope (hysteroscope) is inserted through the vagina and cervix into the uterus. Your physician visually examines the inside of the uterus and removes any polyps. Tissue samples are sent to a pathologist who evaluates the polyp to ensure the specimens do not contain cancerous cells.
- Uterine/Endometrial Cancer. There are two basic types of uterine cancer: uterine sarcomas and endometrial cancer. Uterine sarcomas grow in the muscles in the uterus and account for less than 5% of cancers of the uterus. Endometrial cancer begins in the tissue lining the uterus. It is the fourth most common cancer in American women. Most endometrial cancer develops in post-menopausal women; however, precancerous conditions can be diagnosed earlier in life. It is a slow growing cancer and very treatable when diagnosed in its early stages. Risk factors include obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, and a family history of endometrial cancer
The most notable symptom of endometrial cancer is vaginal bleeding between periods or after menopause. Hysterectomy is generally recommended.