Endometriosis is a condition of displaced endometrial tissues. The tissue which lines the inside of the uterus starts growing outside the uterus in this condition. This tissue continues to thicken and break down with the menstruation resulting it to get trapped because of its displacement. Endometriosis occurs during the reproductive phase in the woman and is common in women with the issue of infertility. This condition is the leading cause of pelvic pain in women.
The main symptom of this condition is pelvic pain. This pain is mostly linked to the menstrual period. The symptoms of endometriosis are:
Excessive bleeding: One may experience heavy bleeding during menses or occasional heavy bleeding between the periods.
Painful menstruation: Dysmenorrhea or painful periods accompanied by cramping and pelvic pain may be present. These pains may begin before the periods.
Pain while urinating: You may feel pain while passing urine or during bowel movements.
Painful lovemaking: If one has endometriosis, one may experience pain during sexual lovemaking.
Infertility: Women seeking treatments for infertility are normally diagnosed with the condition of endometriosis.
Apart from these symptoms, one may experience fatigue, bloating, constipation or diarrhea and nausea during the periods. Endometriosis symptoms can be sometimes confused with Pelvic Inflammatory Disease or Ovarian cysts.
The exact cause of endometriosis is still unknown though many different theories have been put forward. It could be a combination of factors which lead to this condition such as:
Retrograde menstruation: This means that the menstrual tissue flows backwards through the fallopian tubes and gets deposited on the pelvic organs and grows there. But it is seen that many women have this retrograde flow but do not have endometriosis. So, there may be a hormonal dysfunction or immune system problem that triggers this.
Metaplasia: The meaning of this term is to change form one normal type of tissue to another normal type of tissue. Some think that the endometrial tissue can replace the other types of tissue outside of the uterus.
Genetic: This could be a genetic condition which means that if your close relatives have this condition, you are likely to suffer from it too.
Immune System Dysfunction: Some women with this condition are seen to have immune system dysfunctions.
Environmental Factors: certain environmental factors can influence the development of endometriosis by having an impact on the hormones and immune system.
Since the cause of this condition is still uncertain, there is no specific treatment for it. Therefore the treatment is done depending on the woman’s symptoms and age. Some treatments may work for one some may work in combinations. Treatment for endometriosis is the following:
Hormonal Therapies: Hormonal therapies to temper oestrogen production may help to provide relief from the symptoms. This therapy might include birth control pills, IUD, aromatase inhibitors or progestogens.
Painkillers: Since pain is the most common symptom in this condition, painkillers like analgesics, mild narcotics and non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs may help.
Surgery: Laparoscopic surgery is done to diagnose this condition and can be used to treat it by removing the endometric lesions, cysts and adhesions.
Diet: A healthy and nutritional diet is essential for general health, to boost energy and stamina. All this is required by the woman to undergo and tolerate medical treatments.
Exercises: Exercises like kegels help to strengthen the pelvic muscles and reduce pain. Yoga and meditation can help in relaxation and strengthening the body.
Herbal Treatment: Many herbs can provide some relief from the symptoms of this condition.
Endometriosis affects the woman physically and emotionally as well. Therefore it is beneficial to go for counseling or talking to someone and sharing your feelings.
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