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Navigating Endometriosis with Knowledge and Support

Navigating the complexities of endometriosis, a prevalent health issue among women, involves understanding its symptoms, risks, causes and available treatment options.

“At Hoag, we offer the latest in diagnostic testing and treatment options to help the more than 11% of women of reproductive age who are affected by this disorder,” said Marc Winter, M.D., minimally invasive gynecology at Hoag. More than 5 million women in the United States have endometriosis. It is one of the most common health problems for women. It can occur in any teen or woman who has a menstrual period, but it is most common in women in their 30s and 40s.

Dr. Winter shares a few insights that women should know about endometriosis:

Endometriosis can cause infertility. Endometriosis is when the endometrium, or lining of the uterus, starts to grow outside the uterus. It can create an environment of inflammation and grow on other structures in the body, including the ovaries, fallopian tubes and pelvic cavity, which can contribute to infertility. “When the growth blocks the fallopian tubes or forms scar tissue, it can be more difficult for women to get pregnant,” said Dr. Winter. “We recommend that women who have a history of endometriosis and want to get pregnant work with their doctor to determine what treatments or procedures might help them achieve their fertility goals.”

Endometriosis is treatable. From medications to surgical options to alternative medicine treatments, Hoag physicians and specialists are able to help women through this painful disease. “No one should have to live in pain,” Dr. Winter said. “Whether it’s pelvic floor therapy, surgery or mindfulness and meditation, we can help women who are coping with this disease.”

Endometriosis is misunderstood. There are numerous myths about endometriosis, but the most common one is that the symptoms of pain and heavy periods are normal. “Women with this condition sometimes assume that their symptoms are a natural part of menstruation and even when they do seek help, they could be dismissed as overreacting,” Dr. Winter said. “It is important that women – and their doctors – understand that this is not the case.”

For more information about endometriosis, please visit If you are suffering from gynecological pain or have questions about your health, talk to your OB/GYN about your plans to start a family if you have endometriosis.

For a complete list of providers, please visit Find a Doctor | Hoag
For a complete list of OB/GYN providers please visit Find a Doctor | Hoag