What is Endometriosis?
Endometriosis is one of the painful reproductive health conditions among women that impacts their daily schedules. It is a condition in which tissue similar to the uterus lining develops outside the uterus. The uterus lining is known as the endometrium. Usually, endometriosis impacts the reproductive parts of a female such as the fallopian tubes, pelvis tissue lining, and ovaries.
The tissue functions like regular uterine tissue similar to periods. Eventually, it breaks apart and begins to bleed at the cycle's end having nowhere to go for the blood. It causes inflammation and swelling surrounding the areas. Women can also experience scar tissues and lesions. Among all other reproductive parts, endometriosis is usually found in the ovaries.
Types of endometriosis
There are varied types of endometriosis that are:
- Superficial perineal lesion: It is one of the primary types of endometriosis and involves lesions on the peritoneum. The peritoneum is a thin film lining the pelvic cavity.
- Endometrioma: This type of endometriosis involves cysts that are filled with fluid, and dark. It is also known as chocolate cysts. It doesn’t have the efficiency of responding to the treatment and begins damaging the healthy tissue in the reproductive system of females.
- Deeply infiltrating endometriosis: This kind of endometriosis develops under the women's peritoneum and includes organs surrounding the uterus like a bladder.
It is observed that usually, women don’t notice any endometriosis symptoms. Hence, one should be mindful of the symptoms so that timely treatment is considered. Here are the warning signs:
- Women with endometriosis experience unbearable back pain while they are on their periods.
- It becomes difficult to handle the menstrual cramps as well for females.
- Some females also experience pain while peeing, specifically during their menstrual cycles.
- Females also can experience heavy or unfamiliar bleeding episodes during the period.
- Diarrhoea, constipation, blood in urine, and stool are some of the symptoms of endometriosis.
- Women can also have a hard time while having sexual intercourse as they feel pain.
- It can be difficult for a female to get pregnant with endometriosis if trying to conceive. Hence, it can be a reason for causing infertility.
The exact endometriosis causes are not known and some various speculations or theories are there which include:
- Genetics is one of the causes of endometriosis as this condition tends to run in families and affects people.
- If there is an issue with the immune system, it becomes the body’s natural defence against infections and illnesses.
- When the endometrium cells begin to spread across the body in the bloodstream.
Since the theories don’t illustrate the real cause of why women experience issues like endometriosis, there is a possibility that the condition occurs due to a combination of varied factors.
Other possible causes
There are other possible endometriosis causes which one must be aware of:
- Retrograde menstruation is among the primary causes of endometriosis. In this factor, menstrual blood includes endometrial cells that begin flowing back through the fallopian tubes and into the pelvic cavity rather than inside the body.
- Transformation of peritoneal cells is also the cause of endometriosis as hormonal factors involve promoting the transformation of these cells. It combines the cells that line the abdomen's inner side.
- Embryonic cell transformation includes hormones like estrogen. It initiates the transformation of embryonic cells into endometrial cells.
- Implantation of surgical scar is also among the endometriosis causes. It is found that after C-section or surgery endometrial cells might attach to the surgical incision.
- Immune system disorder also causes endometriosis issues. When there is an issue with the immune system, it might be difficult for the body to identify and damage the endometrial-like tissue which is developing outside the woman's uterus.
When to see
Make sure to reach out to your doctor as soon as you observe any signs and symptoms of endometriosis. It can be a difficult condition to manage. Initial diagnosis and timely treatment can help in managing the symptoms proficiently.
Usually, the visit is made to a general practitioner and the doctor tries to understand the symptoms. The doctor will suggest some medications or treatment if endometriosis is suspected. If the recommended treatment is not useful, then the doctor refers to an expert called a gynaecologist for further scanning and tests.
When it comes to endometriosis diagnosis, then a doctor first requires the right information on the symptoms an individual is experiencing. Further, the doctor will conduct the following test to diagnose endometriosis:
- The pelvic exam is the first test and during the examination, the doctor will begin feeling areas in the female pelvis for anomalies like cysts or any scars on the reproductive organ. However, it is usually difficult to examine endometriosis this way if it hasn’t formed a cyst.
- An ultrasound test is also initiated as it benefits in getting the inside body pictures which help the doctor to identify the problem.
- Magnetic resource imaging or MRI test is involved as radio waves help in creating detailed organs and tissue pictures. This helps with surgical planning, providing the doctor with comprehensive information about the location and size of the endometrial implants.
- Laparoscopy is also recommended so that the doctor can get a view of the woman's abdomen. It requires a very minor surgery by making a small incision near the navel and inserting a viewing instrument. This helps in having a view of the endometrial tissue if that’s there outside the uterus.
The endometriosis treatment plan depends on certain factors that involve the severity of the endometriosis, future pregnancies plan, age, and the severity of the symptoms. In certain cases, a doctor will emphasise pain management and treating fertility issues. It can be done through the right medications and surgery.
Medications are given to control the endometriosis symptoms which include hormonal therapies and pain medications.
Hormonal options to treat endometriosis are:
- Birth control like estrogen and progesterone is given to the patients as this hormonal treatment assists in light and less painful periods. However, women planning to conceive cannot move forward with this treatment.
- Gonadotropin-releasing hormone medications are for delaying the menstrual cycle which means they stop hormones that cause periods. It benefits in putting the female reproductive system on hold so that pain is relieved.
- Danazol is also another type of hormonal medication that is used to stop the hormone production causing periods. One can experience occasional menstrual periods or they might not come altogether.
These medications are only recommended by your doctor and should not be used during pregnancy. These medicines are also not for women who are planning to get pregnant. So, make sure to reach out to your doctor.
Surgical options are also there for endometriosis treatment:
- Laparoscopy is recommended in certain cases. The doctor initiates the process by making a tiny cut near the nave to insert a thin tube known as a laparoscope into the body. With the tool, it becomes easy for the doctor to get a view and identify endometriosis. Lesions are removed with the use of a 5-millimetre instrument.
- Hysterectomy surgery is recommended in serious cases and uterus removal is suggested depending on the presence of endometriosis and scar tissue if a woman is suffering uterine conditions such as adenomyosis.
Why choose Rukmani Birla Hospital for endometriosis?
Rumkani Birla Hospital Jaipur multi-special services to patients with utmost care and exceptional outcomes. We are offering clinical treatment and solutions to patients for their medical issues for decades. It is the efforts of our highly-qualified and talented team of doctors who are always up anytime to offer their assistance to the patients. You can reach out to us anytime and we are always there for you.
We have integrated the use of smart-of-the-art technology and advanced lab equipment that assist us in becoming the best in the industry. We have a gynecology department that incorporates experienced and proficient gynecologists holding years of experience. So, if you think you have endometriosis, then make sure to book your appointment with us. You can also visit us directly without an appointment.
When should you worry about endometriosis?
It can be difficult to understand because most females don’t experience any endometriosis symptoms when having it. So, if you experience pain during the menstrual cycle, pelvis pain, pain during sexual intercourse, urination pain, and bowel movements, then make sure to consult a professional at the earliest.
Can endometriosis affect your daily life?
Yes, endometriosis affects regular schedules for women as it involves health, economic, and social implications. It reduces the quality of life for women because of constant fatigue, weakness, anxiety, depression, and infertility.
Is endometriosis a disability?
Endometriosis can be disabling for some women as it stops them from initiating regular activities. Females who are planning to achieve pregnancy and cannot conceive because of endometriosis also feel disabled as they feel extremely demotivated.
What age group is most affected by endometriosis?
There is no age group for endometriosis to occur as it happens to females who have menstrual periods. However, the condition is usually common when women are in their 30s or 40s.
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