Endometriosis: Causes, Symptoms & Treatment
You can’t cure endometriosis but you can manage the condition through gynecology. New York endometriosis specialist notes that the condition occurs when the endometriosis implants normally found in your uterus are found in other parts of your body. The tissue thickens and breaks down due to menstrual cycle hormones and menstrual bleeding.
The resulting scar tissues cause anatomical changes and organ fusion. The condition affects 11% of women in the US aged between 15 – 44 years.
What Is Endometriosis?
Endometrial tissue has blood cells and connecting tissues growing in the uterus and prepares your womb lining for ovulation. When the growth occurs outside your uterus you have endometriosis. In most cases, the condition occurs in the pelvic area. The growth affects your Lymph nodes, Ovaries, Peritoneum, and Fallopian tubes.
Normally the body expels the endometrial tissue during menstruation which can’t happen if the growth happens outside the uterus.
Symptoms of Endometriosis
Physical symptoms include pain and growth of lesions affecting bodily functions like blocking of the fallopian tubes. The pain affects your ability to work, maintain relationships, and medical care costs. Remember medical conditions like ovarian cysts, irritable bowel syndrome, and pelvic inflammatory disease also mimic the symptoms mentioned below.
Severe menstrual cramps
Pelvic pain and long-term lower back pain
Heavy menstrual bleeding
The menstrual period lasts 7 days more than usual
Bloody urine or stool
Pain during sexual intercourse
Bleeding between periods
Vomiting and nausea
The pain you experience correlates with the extent of your endometriosis condition. The pain subsides the following menopause as the body stops the production of estrogen. However, pain may persist if you undergo hormone therapy. Pregnancy offers temporary relief.
You can resolve to get surgery if other treatments don’t work. Treatment options include;
Over the counter medications such as anti-inflammatory and non-steroidal drugs like ibuprofen works. You can also use prescription drugs from your physician.
Hormonal treatments like antagonists, GnRH agonists, and birth control. Others include Dazanol, Medroxyprogesterone, and the use of an IUD.
Initial surgery removes sections of endometriosis. You can also go for Hysterectomy to remove both your ovaries.
Pregnancy is highly recommended through in-vitro fertilization.
Ways to Manage the Symptoms at Home
There are complementary treatments and alternative options such as herbal medicine, acupuncture, and chiropractic. However, evidence of their effectiveness is minimal. Avoid caffeine intake to reduce pain because caffeine worsens these symptoms.
Exercise regularly like walking, jogging, etc. to slow the progression of endometriosis and reduce pain. Exercise reduces estrogen levels. Monitor your symptoms by scheduling regular appointments with an endometriosis specialist to lower risks of complications.
There is no diagnosis for endometriosis as there is no test you can perform to evaluate the condition. The only way to know is by undergoing surgical laparoscopy. This is a minimally invasive procedure done through a thin incision in your pelvic area. Diagnosis is categorized into four stages in terms of severity. Receiving a diagnosis can take years. You can also undergo radiologic imaging using ultrasound imaging, pelvic exam, or an MRI.
Endometriosis is a serious condition that causes serious discomfort and pain. The uterine tissues break apart during menstrual periods. The blood has nowhere to go causing swelling and inflammation of the surrounding areas. You can have lesions and scar tissue. Endometriosis is common in the ovary. If you experience the symptoms mentioned above, consult your endometriosis specialist.