Women's Health

Endometriosis

Written by
Dr. Divya Banu M
and medically reviewed by Dr. Deepti Kurmi

Published on Jun 20, 2019   -  3 min read

Abstract

Abstract

Are you suffering from severe menstrual cramps, heavy bleeding, acute back pain, and pelvic pain? These can be signs of endometriosis. Read the article to know more about this condition

Endometriosis

What Is Endometriosis?

Endometriosis is one of the common conditions faced by females. It occurs when the lining of uterus or womb is present on other organs, commonly present on the lower abdomen or pelvis. But, it can be present anywhere inside the body.

What Causes Endometriosis?

The exact reason for endometriosis is not known but the following can lead to it:

1.Retrograde menstruation: During periods, sometimes, the menstrual blood flows from fallopian tubes to the abdomen.

2.Some cells in other organs of the body may develop into cells that line or cover the uterus.

3.The uterine lining cells may migrate to other organs via blood stream or lymphatics.

4.It is also possible to occur during surgeries like C-section.

5.Even, genes can play a major role. If a close relative has it, the chances of you getting it increases.

6.Transformation of abdominal cells to uterine lining cells due to hormonal factors.

7.Disorders of the immune system may lead to non-identification of uterine lining cells outside the uterus and thereby not killing them.

Never giving birth, short duration between periods, heavy menstrual bleeding, low BMI, any abnormality of reproductive tract may put you at risk of developing endometriosis.

What Are the Common Signs and Symptoms?

The most common symptom which a patient may observe is severe pelvic pain which may be associated commonly with periods. This pain may increase with time.

Other signs and symptoms included are:

1.Painful periods or dysmenorrhea.

2.Pain during or after sex.

3.Pain while urinating or bowel movements.

4.Heavy menstrual bleeding or bleeding between periods.

5.It is commonly associated with fertility also. Hence, it is diagnosed in most of the patients who complain of infertility.

6.Fatigue.

7.Constipation or diarrhea.

8.Nausea.

All the symptoms are more during periods. It may reduce or cure with pregnancy and menopause.

What Are the Stages of Endometriosis?

It is classified into four stages based on the exact location, extent, and depth of endometriosis as:

Stage 1 - Minimal.

Stage 2 - Mild.

Stage 3 - Moderate.

Stage 4 - Severe.

Why Is Endometriosis Associated with Pain?

Usually what happens in endometriosis is the menstrual bleeding can occur in other organs also where the uterine lining cells are there and when these blood come in contact with other organs especially within the abdomen, it may lead to inflammation and this, in turn, causes pain.

Even there is a possibility of formation of scar tissue from endometriosis which may also cause pain.

What Are the Risk Factors and Complications?

Never giving birth, short duration between periods, heavy menstrual bleeding, low BMI, any abnormality of reproductive tract may put you at risk of developing endometriosis.

Complications: The most common complication seen with endometriosis is infertility. The next being ovarian cancer.

Why Is Endometriosis Associated with Infertility?

For pregnancy to occur, the egg and the sperm have to unite. In endometriosis, the fallopian tube may be blocked which inhibits the union of egg and sperm and even may kill or damage the sperm or egg.

Hence, it is advisable to get pregnant as soon as possible in endometriosis patient as the condition worsens with time.

How Is Endometriosis Diagnosed?

It is usually done using laparoscopy, wherein the contents inside the abdomen are visualized using a camera via belly button and some part of suspected endometrial tissue is taken for further examination.

What Are the Treatment Options of Endometriosis?

First, the treatment preferred is conservative that involves medications like anti-inflammatory. Some believe that taking medicines that affect hormones can also help in relieving symptoms like oral contraceptive pills.

The next treatment modality is surgery which not only helps to diagnose but treat it also. This gives relief in symptoms.

Endometriosis is most commonly associated with infertility and severe pelvic pain and the condition worsens with time. Hence, it is advisable to consult a doctor to treat it as soon as possible. Online medical platforms help you to get complete information about the same.

Last reviewed at:
20 Jun 2019  -  3 min read

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Related Questions & Answers


I have severe period pain. Is it because of endometriosis? What is the treatment?

Query: Hi doctor, My girlfriend has severe period pains that are certainly endometriosis. Her recent scan showed endometrium was 16 mm thick. She has crippling pains, and she is completely immobile during her period, and sometimes in between. It is getting worse month by month. She is infertile. It is pain...  Read Full »

Could you help with my terrible periods pain?

Query: Hi doctor, I am 18 years old. I usually have quite regular periods, but every month I get absolutely terrible pains to the point I am sick and shaking. I have tried taking the contraceptive pill to help my periods, but it made them worse. So, I stopped. It is not just a cramp. A really bad sickness ...  Read Full »

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