Endometriosis is a painful disorder in women in which tissue that normally lines the inside of the uterus, called the endometrium, grows outside the uterus on other organs or structures in the body. Endometriosis can affect a woman's ovaries, bladder, fallopian tubes, bowel, or the tissue lining the pelvis. It is rarely found in other areas of the body. The displaced endometrial tissue still acts as it normally would, thickening, breaking down and bleeding with each menstrual cycle. There is nowhere for the tissue to exit the body, so it becomes trapped, causing irritation, scar tissue, and sometimes severe pain in the lower abdomen or pelvis, especially during the menstrual cycle. Endometriosis can be treated.
UAB Obstetrics and Gynecology offers comprehensive women's health care in a private, personal environment, with physicians and nurses who are dedicated to delivering excellent care. Because our physicians are nationally recognized specialists in their fields, you can rest assured that you are receiving the most advanced care available. UAB Obstetrics and Gynecology is consistently ranked among the best programs of its kind in the country by U.S. News & World Report.
As part of the UAB Division of Women's Reproductive Healthcare, UAB Obstetrics and Gynecology’s services range from complete obstetric care to the medical and surgical treatment of complicated gynecological concerns. We work closely with the UAB Medicine Interventional Radiology team to diagnose and treat your condition, using the latest and most accurate technology and imaging methods, including fluoroscopy, ultrasound, and CT scans. Because UAB Medicine is an academic health center, patients may be offered participation in clinical research trials, which can give you access to new techniques and treatments that are not available elsewhere in the area. Our physicians are here for you at all times, from your first routine gynecological exam, to delivering your baby, to guiding you through menopause. When you establish a relationship with our doctors, you can rely upon that relationship throughout your lifetime.
UAB is an active participant in research and clinical trials. We encourage you to speak to your physician about research and clinical trial options and browse the link below for more information.View Clinical Trials
- Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis
Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis
Some couples are at increased risk for transmitting genetic diseases to their children. The disorders include hemophilia, Tay-Sach's disease, Sickle Cell Anemia, Cystic Fibrosis, Down's syndrome, and others.
Women over the age of 38 or those with recurrent miscarriage may be at risk for chromosomal abnormalities called aneuploidies. Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD) allows the embryologist to screen embryos for these and many other genetic abnormalities.
PGD patients undergo in vitro fertilization to create embryos that will be transferred to the uterus. Once the embryos mature, the embryologist makes a small hole in the embryo's outer membrane using a laser. A single cell is withdrawn for the PGD procedure(s) without damage to the embryo. Each cell contains the complete genetic makeup of the embryo.
The cell is examined for an abnormal number of chromosomes, using fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH). FISH, enables the embryologist to count chromosomes and often identify other abnormalities.
The polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is used when damage, or disease, is suspected on a particular chromosome segment. The PCR duplicates and amplifies certain chromosome sections so that disorders can be seen.
Some diseases, such as hemophilia, are sex-linked meaning they are transmitted on the X chromosome. Because males have only 1 X chromosome but females have 2, these sex-linked diseases are more apparent in males. Hemophilia is an example of a sex-linked disease, meaning that males are the ones usually affected. FISH can be used to separate male and female embryos, and in this case, only female embryos would be transferred to the mother. The same applies if a chromosomal abnormality is seen using PCR in that only normal embryos would be transferred.
While no procedure is guaranteed to eliminate birth defects, there are many genetic diseases that can be identified using PGD and research continues to expand the list. Using PGD lowers the chances of genetic birth defects.