Endometriosis – Types, Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatments

Endometriosis

Endometriosis – Endometriosis Is a painful disorder. Due to Endometriosis, Tissues similar to the tissue that normally lines the inside of your uterus grows outside of it. Other than pain, it can also cause irregular menstrual cycles.

As per the Centers for Disease Control and prevention, endometriosis Is a common issue in women. The United States alone records more than 200,000 cases per year.

Endometriosis
Endometriosis

Types of endometriosis

As per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are three main types of endometriosis.

Superficial perineal lesion

The superficial peroneal lesion is one of the most common kinds of endometriosis. As per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 75% of women affected with endometriosis falls under this type. 

Endometrioma

Endometrioma, dark fluid-filled cysts form deep in your ovaries. It is as cold as chocolate cysts. They usually don’t respond well to any treatment, and it can also damage healthy tissue around them.

Deeply infiltrating endometriosis

Deeply infiltrating endometriosis grows under your peritoneum, and it can involve organs near your uteri, such as the bladder and bowels. As per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only 15 per cent of women diagnosed with endometriosis have it.

Symptoms of endometriosis

Symptoms of endometriosis are not going to be the same for each and every person affected by it. Some people might experience mild symptoms, but some can have severe symptoms.

You should remember that many people confuse the severity of symptoms with the stage of the condition. You might have endometriosis at the first stage and unbearable pain. Similarly, it is also possible that you might have mild pain even at an advanced stage.

Painful periods

Painful periods are one of the most common symptoms of endometriosis. Many women get unbearable pain during their period, which can be due to endometriosis. 

It is also possible that you might get heavy menstrual cramps during your menstrual cycle. These cramps might become unbearable.

Other than that, you might experience abnormal back pain and abdominal pain during your menstrual cycle. 

Many women always get painful periods no matter what, so kindly don’t get confused with regular period Pains and common symptoms of Endometriosis.

Heavy menstrual bleeding

As per the official data, many women get heavy menstrual bleeding during their menstrual cycle. It is also possible that you might bleed between cycles if this is the case for you, along with very painful periods, you should get tested for endometriosis.

Pain during bowel movement

It is also possible that if you are affected with endometriosis, you might feel heavy pain during your bowel movement or urination. Commonly women feel pain during urination during their menstrual cycles. If you have pain during urination without a menstrual cycle, you should get it tested for something else.

Painful intercourse

Painful intercourse is another very common symptom of endometriosis. Usually, women don’t feel pain during intercourse, but due to Endometriosis, It is possible that women get painful intercourse. Doctors always advise you to consult with an expert if you ever feel pain during your intercourse.

Infertility

Many times women get diagnosed with endometriosis after they are seeking treatment for infertility. It has also become one of the leading causes of infertility in women. 

Other symptoms

Other than these specific symptoms, there are a few common symptoms that usually women ignore. It is possible that due to endometriosis, you might experience fatigue, diarrhoea, Constipation, bloating for a longer period of time, and it gets more frequent during your menstrual cycle.

Causes of Endometriosis

As per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are no exact causes of endometriosis like smoking for lung cancer. 

But there are a few scientific proven conditions that can cause endometriosis.

Retrograde menstruation is one of the most common expected causes of endometriosis. More than 90% of women experience retrograde menstruation. Many experts believe that menstrual blood flows back through your fallopian tubes into your pelvic cavity due to retrograde menstruation. 

Later These endometrial cells stick to the pelvic walls and other organs, where they grow and continue to thicken. 

Many experts also believe that due to surgical scars such as C-section, menstrual blood then leaks into the pelvic cavity through the surgical scar and later becomes the cause of endometriosis.

Some experts also believe that due to a compromised immune system, the body will be unable to recognize and destroy endometrial-like tissues.

Diagnosis of Endometriosis

Diagnosis of Endometriosis can become very hard as many other conditions also have similar symptoms such as pain in the pelvic, heavy blood flow during the menstrual cycle, etc.

As per a study published in 2019, it may take 4 – 11 years from onset to diagnose endometriosis. Your doctor can perform more than one test to diagnose it.

Physical exam

An annual physical exam is one of the best ways to diagnose most health-related problems. You can also diagnose endometriosis during a physical exam.

During your physical exam, your doctor might use a speculum and light to see inside of your vagina and cervix. A doctor may also manually feel your abdomen for cysts or scars behind your uterus. 

It is also very important for you to let your doctor know about all the symptoms and family history related to endometriosis. 

Based on all these things, your doctor will determine whether it could be a case of endometriosis or not.

Ultrasound

Ultrasound is another good option to diagnose endometriosis. Your doctor might ask you to get a transvaginal ultrasound or abdominal ultrasound. Both of these can provide digital images of your reproductive organs. 

Laparoscopy

Laparoscopy is the only certain method to diagnose endometriosis as it gives a clear and direct viewing. Because it is done by a minor surgical procedure, that is why doctors don’t recommend it in the first place. 

Treatment for endometriosis

If you leave endometriosis untreated, it might cause problems in your day to day activities. It can cause unbearable pain and have you bleeding during the menstrual cycle.

Unfortunately, endometriosis doesn’t have any cure. It is a lifelong condition, but this doesn’t mean that you can’t do anything and you have to live with pain.

Doctors can treat and manage symptoms. Your doctor will make a treatment plan depending on your age, symptoms and other medical conditions.

Pain medications

Your doctor might recommend you take over the counter pain medications. It is one of the first treatment options. If over the counter pain medications don’t work, then depending on the severity, your doctor might recommend you for a stronger type of medication.

Conservative surgery

As you already know, endometriosis can cause infertility in women. If you want to get pregnant with endometriosis, doctors might recommend you to get surgery. 

During surgery, doctors remove or destroy endometrial growths without damaging any reproductive organ. Doctors might also recommend surgery if hormonal treatments are not working.

Hormone therapy

Supplement hormones are a great way to reduce pain because of endometriosis. During the menstrual cycle, women experience the rise and fall of hormones, and as a result, material implants break down and bleed. 

Fertility treatment

Doctors might recommend fertility treatment for women who are trying to get pregnant and have endometriosis. Doctors suggest you visit a fertility specialist.  

Takeaways

Endometriosis Is a common problem in women as the United States records more than 200,000 cases each year. Experts don’t know the exact cause of endometriosis.

The symptoms are very common such as heavy pain during the menstrual cycle, heavy pelvic pain, etc. In some women, it may also cause infertility which becomes one of the biggest issues.

Unfortunately, there is no exact treatment for endometriosis. Doctors use a combination of treatments to lower the symptoms and help women get pregnant even with endometriosis. 

Are there any stages of endometriosis?

Yes, there are four stages of endometriosis. Minimal, mild, moderate and severe are the four stages of endometriosis. There are many factors that determine the stage of endometriosis. Kindly remember that severity of pain or blood flow is not the indication of higher stages.

Can I prevent endometriosis?

As you already know, experts don’t know the exact causes of endometriosis, but still, you can do many things to lower your chances of getting this condition. You can maintain or even lower your estrogen levels. Doctors recommend every woman make a habit of exercising for more than 30 minutes a day.

Can doctors treat endometriosis?

Unfortunately, there is no direct treatment available for Endometriosis. Doctors might use one or more types of treatment to control the symptoms. As you already know, endometriosis can even cause infertility in women. Doctors use a number of different treatments to help women get pregnant even with endometriosis.

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