Endometriosis Specialist

Nancy Thornton, MD -  - Gynecologist

Nancy Thornton, MD

Gynecologist located in Palm Beach Gardens, FL

Endometriosis occurs when tissue lining the uterus starts to grow in other parts of your reproductive system, and it can be a painful and debilitating condition. Nancy L. Thornton, MD, FACOG, is a highly skilled Gynecologist with many years of experience in diagnosing and treating endometriosis. If you’ve been suffering from painful periods or other symptoms of endometriosis, visit Dr. Thornton at her practice in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, for effective treatment solutions. Call the office today or book an appointment online.

Endometriosis Q & A

What is endometriosis?

The endometrium that gives endometriosis its name is the lining inside your uterus, which sometimes starts growing outside the uterus, typically on the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and pelvic tissues.

The problem with the endometrium growing outside the uterus is that it still responds to the hormonal influence that regulates your menstrual cycle, so each month the tissue thickens and bleeds just as it does inside your uterus. The tissues outside the uterus can’t leave your body like menses produced in the uterus, so it becomes trapped inside the body.

Neighboring tissues and organs become irritated and inflamed, leading to discomfort and sometimes severe pain. The pain worsens during your period and may be the cause of particularly painful menstruation, as well as potentially leading to fertility problems.

What are the symptoms of endometriosis?

The most common symptom of endometriosis is dysmenorrhea, or painful periods. You may also experience other symptoms including:

  • Pain in your lower back
  • Abdominal pain
  • Prolonged period pain and cramping
  • Painful sexual intercourse
  • Pain when you go to the toilet, especially during your period
  • Menorrhagia
  • Bleeding between periods (Menometrorrhagia)
  • Fatigue
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Bloating

Endometriosis is often discovered when women seek help with fertility problems, as the condition can lead to infertility.

How is endometriosis treated?

Dr. Thornton assesses all her patients individually to decide on the best course of treatment in each case. Treatment options for endometriosis include:

  • Hormonal contraceptives
  • Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (Gn-RH) agonists and antagonists
  • Progestin therapy
  • Aromatase inhibitors

These are all examples of hormonal therapy treatments that aim to reduce or block the effects of the female hormones estrogen and progesterone that are responsible for menstruation. By decreasing the hormone levels in your system, these therapies diminish the effects of the menstrual cycle, reducing blood flow and in some cases shrinking the endometrial tissues.

Dr. Thornton may recommend removing the endometrial tissue, an operation that’s typically performed using a minimally invasive laparoscopic technique to avoid open surgery.

If endometriosis is blighting your life, or you’re experiencing painful, heavy periods, contact Dr. Nancy L. Thornton and let her help you regain your health. Call today or book an appointment online.