Approximately 10% of women in their childbearing years in the United States have endometriosis, a condition in which endometrial tissue forms outside the uterus. This tissue can cause problems in a number of pelvic organs, including your urinary tract.
Called urinary tract endometriosis (UTE), the disease only affects about 1% of women with endometriosis, which is a good thing, since UTE can lead to serious complications.
As a specialist in endometriosis, Dr. Ulas Bozdogan is very familiar with the many faces of endometriosis, including UTE, and he offers solutions for the potentially serious condition here at Advanced Endometriosis Center.
Behind urinary tract endometriosis
When you have endometriosis, glandular tissue that’s supposed to grow inside of your uterus grows, instead, outside of the organ. The primary issue is that, when the endometrial tissue is inside your uterus, it sheds out through your menstrual cycles.
If the tissue grows outside of your uterus, it has nowhere to go, and your body responds to the foreign tissue by trying to anchor it down, which is how adhesions can form.
In most cases, endometrial implants affect the outside of your uterus, your ovaries, and your fallopian tubes. For the small percent of women with UTE, the misplaced tissues grow in different areas of the urinary tract, typically in the following percentages:
- 85% in the bladder
- 10% in the ureter
- 4% in the kidney
- 2% in the urethra
These are rounded numbers — which is why they total 101% — but they give you an idea of the different areas or your urinary tract that endometriosis can affect.
Symptoms of UTE
Many women are unaware of the presence of endometrial tissue in their urinary tracts unless the tissue starts to interfere with the function of their urinary system. If this happens, the most common complaints are pelvic pain and hematuria (blood in the urine).
You may also experience pain while you urinate, frequent urges to urinate, and frequent urinary tract infections. Please note that urinary incontinence is rarely a symptom of UTE.
One of our primary concerns when it comes to UTE is that frequent blockages in your urinary tract can lead to permanent damage in this system, including your all-important kidneys.
Since early UTE is mostly asymptomatic, it’s important that you seek the medical help of an endometriosis specialist like Dr. Bozdogan when you have endometriosis, no matter the form it takes. When Dr. Bozdogan assesses your endometriosis, he knows where to look for potentially problematic endometrial tissue.
Using the minimally invasive daVinci® system, Dr. Bozdogan is able to diagnose and surgically remove adhesions in your urinary tract, which should relieve your symptoms and improve urinary function.
If you have endometriosis and want treatment — or if you suspect you have it and want an evaluation — we urge you to book an appointment online or over the phone with Advanced Endometriosis Center today. We have offices in New York City and Hackensack, New Jersey.