Endometriosis is a painful condition where the tissue covering the uterus (endometrium) outgrows the uterus leading to the involvement of the reproductive system. Endometriosis results in the involvement of fallopian tubes, ovaries along with the pelvis lining.
The most common symptom which you might experience with this condition includes:
• Painful menstruation (dysmenorrhea) leading to pelvic cramps and pain
• Pain during intercourse which is most commonly seen with endometriosis
• Increased bleeding during and in between the menstruation
• Infertility in some cases
• Painful urination or bowel movements
Other than these symptoms you might experience diarrhea, constipation, nausea, bloating, fatigue, etc.
Following are the most common causes of endometriosis:
• Transformation seen within the peritoneal cells that line the abdomen
• Retrograde menstruation i.e. the blood flows in the opposite direction back into the fallopian tubes towards the pelvic cavity.
• Transformation of the embryonic cells
• Implantation of the endometrial cells with the embryonic cells
• Transportation of endometrial cells towards different body parts
• An autoimmune condition where the immune system might destroy the body’s own endometrial cells
Risk factors leading to endometriosis
• When you avoid being pregnant and stay on contraceptive pills
• Having menstruation in the early ages or undergoing menopause in older age
• Shorter menstrual cycles i.e. around 25-27 days
• Having increased amounts of estrogen levels
• Having a genetic component for endometriosis
• Suffering from a medical condition that might prevent the passage of normal blood flow during menstruation
• Abnormal reproductive system
Complications that you might experience due to endometriosis
One of the most common complications of endometriosis includes impaired fertility. Women suffering from endometriosis are at a higher risk of suffering from a difficult pregnancy.
Endometriosis might result in obstruction of fallopian tubes leading to non-union of the sperm and egg.
Diagnostic tests for identifying this condition
• Pelvic examination where the doctor palpates the pelvic area for any abnormalities
• Ultrasound which creates the images for within the body structures
• MRI or magnetic resonance imaging which offers detailed images of the body tissues and organs
• Laparoscopy where the surgeon can perform the procedure while visualizing the inner view of the abdomen
Treatment options for patients suffering from endometriosis
• Medications for treating the painful condition such as NSAIDs, Naproxen sodium or Ibuprofen
• Supplemental hormones which might reduce this painful condition like hormonal contraceptives, progestin therapy, gonadotropin-releasing hormones, aromatase inhibitors, and others
• Conservative surgery
• Fertility treatment
• Hysterectomy which involves the removal of the ovaries