Endometriosis Specialist

Melissa Gutierrez, MD

Minimally Invasive Surgery & Obstetrics and Gynecology located in Beverly Hills, CA

The pain and disruption that endometriosis often causes can make the condition hard enough to cope with, but if you want to start a family, endometriosis may also affect your fertility. Melissa Marie Gutierrez, MD, FACOG, practicing in Beverly Hills, California, is a highly experienced OB/GYN who has helped many women overcome the difficulty of endometriosis and regain their fertility. Call Beverly Hills OB/GYN today to get relief from endometriosis or book an appointment online.

Endometriosis Q & A

What is endometriosis?

Endometriosis is a condition that develops when the endometrial tissue that normally lines your uterus starts growing in other places. Endometrial tissue growing outside the uterus is referred to as endometrial implants and may be found on your:

  • Outer surface of the uterus
  • Peritoneum
  • Ovaries
  • Fallopian tubes
  • Bladder
  • Ureters
  • Intestines
  • Rectum
  • Cul-de-sac (space behind your uterus)

Endometriosis is often painful and distressing, and for some women, it can also be a cause of infertility.

What are the symptoms of endometriosis?

Some women can have endometriosis without it causing any symptoms, but for other women, the symptoms are serious and disabling and may include:

  • Chronic pelvic pain
  • Severe menstrual pain
  • Painful intercourse
  • Heavy menstrual bleeding

If endometrial implants are present on the bowel or bladder, you may find it uncomfortable or painful to urinate or move your bowels.

Endometrial tissue reacts to hormones just as it would if it were lining your uterus, so during menstruation, endometrial implants swell, bleed, and shed. As there’s no way for the tissue and blood to escape your body, it gets trapped, where it causes inflammation, swelling, and scar tissue buildup.

How is endometriosis diagnosed?

Dr. Gutierrez performs a physical exam to check your symptoms, but the only way to diagnose endometriosis for sure is to undergo a procedure called a laparoscopy.

During a laparoscopy, Dr. Gutierrez passes a slim tube with a tiny camera on the end through a small incision in your abdomen. The laparoscope enables her to see your internal organs without having to perform open surgery. She may also take a tissue sample called a biopsy.

How is endometriosis treated?

The treatment Dr. Gutierrez recommends depends on how severely affected you are by the symptoms and where the implants are. The first course of treatment is often medication, such as:

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Birth control pills
  • Progestin-only medications
  • Gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists

Surgery may be best if your endometriosis causes you severe pain. Dr. Gutierrez removes the implant tissue during the operation, relieving your pain. Regrowth of the endometrial tissue after surgery isn’t unusual, but taking hormonal medications can help keep you pain-free for longer.

If you don’t plan to have children in the future, a hysterectomy, where Dr. Gutierrez removes the uterus as well as any implants, can provide long-term relief.

For compassionate endometriosis support, call Dr. Gutierrez today or book an appointment online.