Endometriosis Specialist

Dr. Helen Matthews

OB-GYNs located in San Ramon, CA

Millions of women in the U.S. suffer from endometriosis. It is a painful and debilitating condition that can affect a woman’s ability to conceive. Many women with endometriosis in the San Francisco Bay Area have been successfully treated by board-certified gynecologist and obstetrician Dr. Helen Matthews in San Ramon, CA.

Endometriosis Q & A

What Is Endometriosis?

Endometriosis is a condition that develops when the endometrium (lining of the uterus) grows outside of the uterus. The displaced endometrial tissue breaks down and bleeds with each menstrual period, but rather than exiting the body, this tissue becomes trapped and causes pain. The pain is sometimes severe and tends to occur during your period.

Women with an increased risk of endometriosis are those who:

  • Have never given birth
  • Have a history of pelvic infection
  • Have relatives with endometriosis
  • Have uterine abnormalities
  • Have a medical condition that obstructs normal menstrual blood flow out of the body

Endometriosis can also cause difficulty conceiving, and some studies show it increases your risk of ovarian cancer, but that risk is low.

What Are the Symptoms?

Severe menstrual pain is the primary symptom of endometriosis. However, acute endometriosis can cause severe pain, while little or no pain can accompany advanced endometriosis. Other endometrial symptoms may include:

  • Bloating
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue
  • Heavy periods or bleeding between periods
  • Nausea
  • Painful intercourse
  • Painful bowel movement or urination

How Do You Treat Endometriosis?

Your doctor will perform a pelvic exam and tests, which may include an ultrasound or laparoscopy. If you have endometriosis, she may prescribe nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or hormone therapy for the pain. If you plan on having a baby, the doctor may perform laparoscopic or traditional surgery to remove as much endometrial tissue as possible without risking your ovaries and uterus. If surgery is ineffective, in-vitro fertilization may be an option.

For severe endometriosis, hysterectomy involving removal of the uterus and cervix may be the only option. Surgery will not necessarily prevent recurrence of endometriosis, however. Estrogen produced by the ovaries could stimulate any remaining endometriosis and cause pain.

If you think you may have endometriosis, call to set up an appointment with Dr. Helen Matthews at Women Physicians for Women’s Health. Dr. Matthews has treated many cases of endometriosis in the San Ramon area, and many of her patients have had a smooth recovery.

Accepted Insurance Providers

At the office of Dr. Helen Matthews, we accept most major insurance plans. Here is a short-list of just some of the most popular plans we accept. Please contact our office if you do not see your insurance provider listed.

Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield
Banner Health
United Healthcare
US Family Health Plan