The endometrial tissue that is normally found in the uterus is eliminated monthly during menses. Know the causes, symptoms and treatment of endometriosis.
Endometriosis is a medical condition that occurs in women and implies the fact that tissue from inside the uterus (called endometrial tissue) somehow reaches areas outside it usually in the pelvic region and starts growing there. This can happen in the fallopian tubes, on the intestines, in the vagina or on the scars of surgical interventions.
The endometrial tissue that is normally found in the uterus is eliminated monthly during period. The one that grows on other body organs tends to also fill in with blood during menstruation, but there's no place for eliminating this blood, so scars and cysts appear. Endometriosis is one of the most common causes of infertility in women. If it occurs in the fallopian tubes it prevents fertilization from happening.
No one has yet come up with a viable theory in what concerns endometriosis. The hypothesis of retrograde menstruation was at some point considered the most probable cause, but it was afterwards determined that it can't only be that. Genetics might play a part and hormonal changes, but nothing is for sure yet.
Diagnosing endometriosis is usually done after something weird is noticed during pelvic examination. The doctor then takes the decision to do a laparoscopy and biopsy in order to be able to put a correct diagnosis. Laparoscopy is a minimum invasive intervention. The doctor takes out a small amount of the suspect tissue with the help of a laparoscope, through a very small hole in your abdominal area.
Endometriosis symptoms vary from woman to woman. Some experience serious pains, while others don't even know they have it. Pains during menstruation are one of the most frequent symptom, as well as abdominal pains and painful lovemaking. Abdominal and digestive problems are not excluded either and many women experience nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or constipation.
Since endometriosis is one of the main causes of infertility, its treatment varies depending on whether or not the woman wants to keep her fertility or not. Women that are not interested in conceiving babies anymore can only focus on alleviating the symptoms and on reducing and even eliminating the pains they have. In women that want to remain fertile, treatment options are more complicated. Prescribed pills for endometriosis usually have significant side effects because they either induce menopause or stop ovulation from happening. There is also the alternative of undergoing a surgery. Unfortunately, in women seriously affected by endometriosis, complete removal of uterus together with the endometrial tissue might be needed.
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