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Endometriosis is a condition where the endometrial tissue instead of emerging inside the uterus (womb), starts growing outside the uterus, usually in the fallopian tubes or ovaries or over the intestines, rectum or bladder. The endometrial tissue is the layer that is lined on the uterus.
The body during the menstrual cycle expels the uterine lining via the vagina, while the blood from the endometrial tissue, which develops on the outer surface of the uterus, has no where to go. The consequences of these result in periodic bleeding in the endometrial tissue which leads to the growth of cysts, tumors/lesions and scar tissue which makes the surrounding areas to thicken.
While some women may face a slight or no uneasiness from endometriosis and others may experience severe pain before or during their periods. The symptoms of endometriosis generally tend to diminish as the woman approaches her menopause.
Causes of Endometriosis
The actual cause for endometriosis is still not identified while the estimation of endometriosis among women of reproductive age ranges from 1% to 15%. There are no appropriate explanations given by anyone for the development of endometriosis.
Some specialists believe that during periods, the endometrial tissue retracts its course through the fallopian tubes and then later inhabits and develops in the abdomen.
A few simply say that it is very common for every woman to undergo a menstrual tissue retraction. In many cases the unusual tissue growth is destroyed by the immune system before it affixes with the abdomen. But when the immune system lacks to perform the function of destroying the unusual tissue growth, then it leads to endometriosis.
While others suggest that the remains of a woman’s embryonic tissue, that was formed when she was in her mother’s womb may have grown into endometriosis during her adult days or may even convert into a reproductive tissue under certain conditions.
Symptoms of Endometriosis
Endometriosis is a case where a few women do not have any symptoms while the others may have one or two warning signals that may be either mild and/or severe. The category and rigorousness of the symptoms depend mainly on the location of the endometriosis growth, the density of the growth and the period from when the woman has been suffering from the same. While the usual symptoms include the following:
1. Persistent pain in the pelvic area
2. Severe pains during periods
3. Excruciating pain during or after sexual intercourse
4. Fertility problems
5. Severe or unusual flow during periods
6. Spotting between the periodic cycles
8. Discomfort while urination during periods
9. Increase in the frequency to urinate during periods
11. Intestinal upsets during periods
Diagnosis of Endometriosis
The diagnosis calls for a thorough evaluation from a doctor which includes a pelvic inspection to verify for any cyst formation, abnormal tenderness or broadening of the pelvic area along with a discussion with respect to the medical history of the patient. Additionally, an ultrasound scan can also be conducted during the 3rd or 4th day of menstruation to assess the pelvis.
A minor surgery process called laparoscopy is done to get a proper analysis of endometriosis. This process can be done anytime during the periods or menstrual cycle. In cases where the abdomen is covered by tissues, a biopsy is always advisable. Biopsy helps in removing the pieces of tissue which cause an obstruction during diagnosis.
Fertility issues arising from endometrial growths
In some cases it has been seen that endometriosis can block the fallopian tubes and cause damage to the ovaries. On an average, the causes of fertility issues because of endometriosis is 3% amongst women; while as a factor which leads to tubal problems that cause fertility issues is up to 17% amongst women.
Endometriosis during pregnancy
Experts believe that if a woman becomes pregnant while having endometriosis, for a few, the situation may go into diminution for a short term. However, after the child-birth, some women may still have endometriosis but may have no more complications when it comes to troubles or symptoms relating to pregnancy.
The association of endometriosis and pregnancy is not only repulsive but also upsetting at the same time. Endometriosis has not been verified to cause any life-intimidating pregnancy connected issues however, it makes conception more intricate for many couples.
Treatment for endometriosis
The main objective of endometriosis treatment includes relief from all the aches and/or improvement in fertility levels. There are two types of treatment given to patients suffering from endometriosis and they are medications or surgery.
Treatment given while planning to conceive a baby
Proper awareness and right treatment can help you keep this condition at bay and enjoy a healthy life ahead.