What is endometriosis?
Endometriosis is a complex disease that causes physical discomfort to women at their reproductive age. During normal menstruation, the endometrial lining is shed but in case of endometriosis, the endometrial tissues are implanted in other areas such as the fallopian tubes, ovaries, bowel, bladders etc.
Endometriosis occurs when tissue resembling the lining of the uterus (or womb) grows outside the uterus on other structures in the body. Mostly, endometriosis is found on the lining of pelvic cavity – tissues that hold the uterus in place, ovaries, outer surface of the uterus, fallopian tubes and so on.
What causes Endometriosis?
One theory is the retrograde flow of menstrual debris. This retrograde flow further causes deposition of endometrial tissues in unusual locations of the pelvic and abdominal cavities.
What takes place at the time of deposition of these tissues is that the misplaced tissues acting like normal endometrial tissues, build up over time, break down and cause severe bleeding. However, unlike the normal menstrual cycle, the bloods from these overgrown tissues have no way of leaving the body. This internal bleeding then inflames the surrounding areas and form scar tissues/Infections which may make it hard to conceive.
Listed below are the most common symptoms of endometriosis that a woman of reproductive age needs to be aware of:
- Heavy Menstrual periods
- Cramping pain in the lower abdomen and lower back.
- Heavy bleeding (in cases of endometriomas)
- Painful Urination
- Pain during/after intercourse
Medical therapy and treatment for Endometriosis
The incidence of endometriosis is approximately 48% in infertile women and 5% in fertile women. It is very important to distinguish medical therapy for endometriosis to treat pelvic pain and medical therapy for endometriosis to treat infertility. At early stages, a person with endometriosis may opt for pain medication and/or Hormone therapy. Whereas in severe cases, patients may proceed with a surgery, ART or even hysterectomy.
In short, there remains no universally accepted explanation for Endometriosis, but treatment can help with pain and infertility problems. And as stated above, treatment plans may vary for different patients according to their requirements.
While there is no cure yet for Endometriosis, there are treatment options available and it is important to be monitored by a fertility specialist. If you have any symptoms of endometriosis, the best thing you can do is to get the condition diagnosed by a professional fertility doctor at a specialized infertility centre. If you’re facing endometriosis while trying to conceive, there are fertility experts at your reach and several treatment schemes that fit your needs.
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