Endometriosis hurts. There’s no question about it. Millions of women suffer in the U.S., and around the world.
The clinical terms that doctors use to define the pain and suffering are well-known to many women, particularly as they try to seek some answers. These pain words all start with “dys”: painful menstruation (dysmenorrhea); painful intercourse (dyspareunia); painful bowel movements (dyschezia); and painful urination (dysuria). And all of these “dys” problems are strongly associated with chronic and unpredictable bouts of pelvic pain, spastic bladder, irritable bowel, abnormal bleeding, back pain, and infertility.
Endometriosis hurts because there is so much ignorance, particularly amongst physicians and other health providers. When women with endometriosis are told ignorant things or have ignorant treatments that quickly leads to depression, questioning of self-worth, relationship breakups, loss of productivity, and feelings of isolation. And ignorant treatments can lead to actual physical harm (“iatrogenic” is the term). Luckily, this ignorance can readily be overcome when women with classic endometriosis symptoms turn to the Internet and social media, where it is easy to find that they are not alone. And through that information often comes empowerment and a plan of action.
1 in 10 women are affected by endometriosis, a leading cause of infertility and other health issues.
Endometriosis hurts when women have trouble conceiving. In our experience, over 95% of women labeled with “unexplained infertility” actually have endometriosis. If I blogged everyday about every patient in our practice who has unexplored infertility causes, i.e. endometriosis, I’d be blogging for many years. In reality, endometriosis is by far the #1 diagnosis identified and treated in our subspecialty practice. My colleagues in reproductive endocrinology and infertility do their patients a huge disservice when they label 20-30% of their patients with the non-diagnosis of “unexplained infertility”.
Endometriosis hurts even when it doesn’t cause pain. Millions of women with endometriosis have no symptoms, or have mild cramps. This is so-called “silent endometriosis”. About one third of our patients have this, because they come to see us to determine why they are having trouble conceiving. Many “unexplained infertility” women fall into the “silent endometriosis” non-diagnosis. That’s because it is hard to diagnose endometriosis in the absence of symptoms. Women with “silent endometriosis” and “unexplained infertility” deserve a thorough laparoscopic evaluation, though this has become controversial amongst infertility specialists. Better to jump to expensive treatments without diagnosing and treating endometriosis? Better for whom?
Endometriosis hurts when fertility treatments fail, including IVF. While powerful and expensive treatments like IVF often can overcome infertility caused by endometriosis, it is very clear in the biomedical literature that endometriosis interferes with ovarian response, egg and embryo quality, and embryo implantation. How or why all of this happens is vigorously discussed amongst academic-minded physicians and basic scientists. We don’t have all the answers but many of my colleagues are ignoring the science that already exists. I could also be blogging for many years about each patient seeking second or third opinions, especially for failed IVF cycles.
Endometriosis hurts when families can’t grow because of infertility. Endometriosis hurts those who like or love a woman with endometriosis because they don’t know how to help. Endometriosis hurts future parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins, and Godparents.
Endometriosis hurts everyone.
Dr. Ronald Feinberg
“Women with endometriosis deserve a thorough evaluation. And through that information often comes empowerment and a plan of action.”
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"We had a wonderful experience working with RADfertility. Our doctor was so sweet, informative and helpful with all of our questions. The front desk, it’s always nice to be greeted by a friendly smiling face."
"RAD heard my hopes, dreams, and wishes and led me toward them while holding my hand. My dream came true. I was guided to a beautiful baby girl! It took less than a year for my pregnancy to begin and it was successful. This was the best decision I ever made. Thank you, RAD!"
"From the beginning our team was determined to find a way for my husband and I to complete our family. All the RAD staff was knowledgeable and truly cared for us. We wish we could have continued with them after our baby hit 12 weeks. We thank them daily in our prayers for giving us our beautiful baby girl!"
"We will be forever grateful for the wonderful care we received at RAD! Dr. Feinberg took the time to listen and create a plan we were comfortable with. The whole team was amazing and truly care about their patients. You have exceeded our expectations. Thank you!!"
"Thanks to RADfertility, we have the most perfect addition to our family. The help and support the whole staff gave us was indescribable. We never once lost hope because of them. We will be forever grateful to each and every person we worked with during our journey."
"Dr. Neithardt was amazing. She explained in great detail all the options we had and put us at ease about the entire process. Everyone has been amazing and I have absolutely no complaints. Today I am 17 weeks pregnant and we only have Dr. Neithardt and her wonderful team at RAD to thank."
"They are the most amazing team of doctors and care coordinators. After having started at another facility I was so happy to come to RAD. They are truly amazing, never make you feel like just a number and have empathy and compassion every step of the way. They also get the job done! Thanks RAD!"
"Dr. McGuirk is a very holistic doctor. She doesn’t just treat the fertility issues. She also points out personal health ideas (juicing, whole 30) to help heal/treat the whole patient. She is honest and open. Be open minded and trust in her process. This is a marathon, not a sprint! Dr. McGuirk will be with you the whole way."
"I will never be able to put into words how thankful we are for RAD. Rhonda was there every step of the way as we were going through the process. Everyone was so welcoming and patient as we asked questions. We were blessed with a daughter, who is now three. I have already recommended and will continue to recommend RAD to people who need help growing their family!"
4735 Ogletown-Stanton Road
Medical Arts Pavilion 2
Newark, DE 19713
Silverside Medical Center
2700 Silverside Road, Suite 2A
Wilmington, DE 19810
Eden Hill Medical Center
200 Banning Street, Suite 240
Dover, DE 19904
Phone: (302) 602-8822
Fax: (302) 602-8832