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Endometriosis

Published on Jun 20, 2019 and last reviewed on Oct 04, 2021   -  3 min read

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

Contents
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.

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Frequently Asked Questions


1.

How Serious Is Endometriosis?

Endometriosis is a condition where tissue growth is seen outside the womb, which is similar to uterus lining causing,
- Pelvic pain.
- Difficulty getting pregnant.
- Abdominal pain.
- Infertility.
- Ovarian cysts.

2.

What Are the Early Symptoms of Endometriosis?

The early symptoms of endometriosis are,
- Severe abdominal cramps.
- Heavy menstrual flow.
- Urinary disorders.
- Painful bowel movements.
- Pelvic pain.
- Urination during menstruation.
- Chronic fatigue.
- Painful sexual intercourse.
- Infertility.
- Bowel disorders
- Nausea or vomiting.
- Long periods.

3.

Does Endometriosis Hurt Every Day?

Endometriosis causes intense pain affecting the daily routine. Patients usually feel sporadic pain with contractions or tightening every few minutes. Sometimes, it will make us feel like we are taking our breaths away with sudden, sharp pains.

4.

How to Check for Endometriosis?

The tests to check for endometriosis are,
Pelvic examination - Palpation in the areas of the pelvis to detect cysts in the reproductive organs.
- Ultrasound.
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
- Laparoscopy.

5.

Can Endometriosis Be Left Untreated?

If left untreated, endometriosis can lead to a wide range of symptoms like,
- Dysmenorrhoea - Pain during menstruation.
- Pelvic pain.
- Inability to become pregnant.
- Dyspareunia - Pain during sexual intercourse.
- Abnormal uterine bleeding.

6.

Can Endometriosis Go Away on Its Own?

Endometriosis goes away on its own at the stage of menopause (when the periods stop). But up to menopause, the medicines and surgery prescribed by the doctor will help women with the symptoms of endometriosis.

7.

Can You Have a Baby With Endometriosis?

The chances of getting pregnant in women with endometriosis are very low. It is estimated that 70% of women with mild to moderate endometriosis can get pregnant without treatment.

8.

How Can I Reverse Endometriosis Naturally?

Endometriosis can be reversed naturally by following the below,
- Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.
- A gluten-free diet is beneficial.
- Take soya beans.
- Take a handful of whole grains.
- Increased intake of omega-3 fatty acids.
- Avoid alcohol.
- Follow the low-FODMAP diet.
- Do not have red meat.
- Avoid processed foods.
- Avoid trans fats.
- Limit caffeine.

9.

What Is the Best Medication for Endometriosis Pain?

The best medications for endometriosis pain are pain relievers such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Both prescription NSAIDs and over-the-counter NSAIDs are available. The over-the-counter NSAIDs are,
- Ibuprofen.
- Aspirin.
- Naproxen.

10.

Do You Get a Discharge With Endometriosis?

Discharge with endometriosis is common because irregular bleeding, irregular menstrual spotting, and ovarian cysts are caused by this condition and are often linked with the production of potential pink discharge.

11.

How Can I Get Pregnant Fast With Endometriosis?

Getting naturally pregnant with endometriosis or with fertility treatments depends on,
The severity of the condition.
- Age.
- Overall health.
People with mild or stage 1 and 2 endometriosis can get pregnant with superovulation and intrauterine insemination (SO-IUI). Also, fertility drugs like Clomid (Clomiphene) and Gonadotropin are given by doctors.

12.

Does a Hysterectomy Cure Endometriosis?

Having surgery will not always cure endometriosis, but hysterectomy (removal of all or part of the uterus) relieves and prevents further symptoms of endometriosis
in many people, but it can recur after the surgery, and symptoms can persist, so remove all the excess endometrial tissue, along with the uterus.

Last reviewed at:
04 Oct 2021  -  3 min read

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