One out of every ten women in America suffers from a disease so painful it threatens her fertility, her sex life and her overall well-being. But a minimally-invasive procedure is helping end the nightmare of endometriosis.

Michelle Joyce looks back on fun times and the pain.

Michelle said, “I started out having heavy periods. There were times when I just couldn’t get out of bed. The pain was so severe.”

She struggled from doctor to doctor before the answer came.

“Endometriosis is a condition in which tissue similar to the lining of the uterus grows outside the uterus; causing pelvic pain, abdominal pain, chest pain, bowel and bladder symptoms as well as infertility,” explained Ken Sinervo, MD, medical director of the Center for Endometriosis Care in Atlanta, Georgia.

Patients are often misdiagnosed.

“There is a very long delay with diagnosis averaging between nine and 12 years,” detailed Dr. Sinervo.

However, once doctors are sure what the problem is, a Co2 laser can be used to remove the disease while sparing healthy tissue.

Dr. Sinervo said, “You can use that and use it safely for excision over very vital structures. Underneath the ovaries, behind the uterus, over the bladder.”

Dr. Sinervo said the traditional ablation procedure burns and destroys the tissue and laparoscopic excision is much more effective.

“With well performed excision performed by an expert the recurrence rate could be as little as five or ten percent,” detailed Dr. Sinervo.

The Co2 procedure can take several hours but Dr. Sinervo said the impact is immediate.

“When I woke up and I didn’t feel that pain anymore, indescribable,” said Michelle.

She’s already living an active life with her daughters that she worried would never again be possible.

“I feel like I’m turning over a new leaf of a pain-free life,” detailed Michelle.

Also she is giving other women hope for a healthier future.

The Lumenis Co2 excision laser procedure is covered by some insurance companies but can cost thousands of dollars. Dr. Sinervo said the best advice for patients is to be your own advocate. If you think you have endometriosis seek help. There is relief out there