What is Endometriosis?

Reproductive health must be taken very seriously, which is why women should understand what endometriosis is. It is often a painful disorder inside of the uterus and involves the fallopian tubes, ovaries, and tissue lining the pelvis. and can go undiagnosed for years. Unfortunately, it can lead to infertility.

Defining Endometriosis

Endometriosis is when tissue that makes up the uterine lining is present on other organs inside your body. It usually appears to happen within the pelvis and lower abdomen, but it can happen anywhere in the body. Although men can be affected by the disorder, it is extremely rare and most common in women. 

The Symptoms

Women can experience pain during intercourse, painful periods, lower abdomen pain, and infertility. Over time, unfortunately, pain can increase and become more intense. Some may also experience painful bowel movements and heavy menstruation. Other symptoms can range from bloating, nausea, constipation, fatigue, and diarrhea, especially during their periods. The more severe the pain usually indicates how severe the disorder is. Pain can be the most painful symptom, but some women do not experience any symptoms. 

Due to these symptoms, endometriosis can be often misdiagnosed. It can often be diagnosed as a pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) or ovarian cysts. Endometriosis also shares the same symptoms as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), which can complicate the diagnosis.

Causes

Unfortunately, the exact causes of endometriosis are unknown, but there are possible explanations. The most common possible explanation is retrograde menstruation, which is menstrual blood containing endometrial cells flowing back through the fallopian tubes and into the pelvic cavity instead of leaving the body. The disorder can also be caused by surgical scar implantation, which happens after surgery, such as a hysterectomy or C-section, endometrial cells may attach to a surgical incision.

Other causes can range from transformation of peritoneal cells, embryonic cell transformation, endometrial cell transport, and an immune system disorder. Each one of these possible causes is ways that endometrial cells or tissue can invade other tissue of the body. 

Treatment

There are a few treatment options for women diagnosed with endometriosis. Many can treat their pain with medications, such as ibuprofen. Some doctors choose medications that can affect a woman’s hormones, such as contraceptive pills, to help with the pain. The best way to treat endometriosis is through surgery. Surgery can remove the endometriosis, burn the endometriosis lesions outside of the uterus, and remove scar tissue. Fortunately, women who use surgery to treat endometriosis often see improvement pain symptoms and may also help them become pregnant.

from Dr. Lori Gore-Green | Gynecology and Obstetrics https://ift.tt/303qzbt

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