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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
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.
Endometriosis is a case where a few women do not have any symptoms while the others may have one to 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.
a) Persistent pain in the pelvic area
b) Severe pains during periods
c) Excruciating pain during or after sexual intercourse
d) Fertility problems
e) Severe or unusual flow during periods
e) Spotting between the periodic cycles
g) Discomfort while urination during periods
h) Increase in the frequency to urinate during periods
j) Intestinal upsets during periods
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 piece/s of tissue which causes an obstruction during diagnosis.
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.
In some cases, it has been seen that even an endometrial patient may have a possibility of becoming pregnant naturally, depending on the severity and the reproductive parts affected by endometriosis.
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.
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. The treatment also includes:
a) The density or mass and location of the endometrial growth
c) The patient’s age as the symptoms tend to deepen while you grow older
The first step would be to meet a fertility expert who will guide you to carry out a laparoscopy and dye, generally known as “lap and dye”, in order to evaluate the internal damage caused to the fallopian tubes and ovaries due to endometriosis.
The second step will include an ultrasound scan for evaluating your pelvic area. This is done by inserting an ultrasound probe into a woman’s vagina. If the results show a minor endometriosis growth then the doctors usually advises on no medication to check the pregnancy chances for the first six months.
The doctor may suggest another method to remove the endometrial growth called laser surgery. This surgery involves a surgeon who cut-offs the unusual growths and tissue with the help of laser. The other option for treatment involves flushing of the fallopian tubes called tubal flushing to unblock the tubes.
Other infertility treatment includes In Vitro Fertilization, commonly known as IVF, wherein the sperm and egg are united remotely outside the body and then positioned back into the uterus. This process, while often effectual, is not an assurance of pregnancy. It needs a lot of devotion and commitment from both the partners and the drugs taken during this process should be strictly monitored before and after positioning the eggs into the uterus. An IVF procedure is extremely expensive and as in many cases it leads to multiple births.