Did you hear about the illness already? Did you get a diagnosis or did a loved one get it? Whatever the reason, we got you. Here’s as much information as needed about Endometriosis.
Table of Contents
- What Is Endometriosis
- What Are The Stages Of Endometriosis?
- The Causes Of Endometriosis
- The Symptoms Of Endometriosis
- How To Diagnose Endometriosis
- Treatment For Endometriosis
What Is Endometriosis:
Endometriosis is a diseased state in which the normal layer of tissue lining the inside wall of the uterus (the endometrium) starts growing outside of uterus. Endometriosis, involves ovaries, fallopian tubes as well as the tissue lining the pelvis. Every 1 in 10 women² of reproductive age has endometriosis.
A study has found that 62% women³ between age 16 to 54 do not take the symptoms seriously and delay the treatment. This is why we hope to bring more endo awareness to the world, so woman can get their diagnosis sooner because painful periods are not normal!
The Different Types Of Endometriosis
There are four main types of endometriosis:
- Superficial endo is when endometrial tissue is found on the surface of the ovaries or other organs in the pelvis. The endometrium gets attached with the peritoneum. It is the least severe form.
- Ovarian endometriomas is when endometrial tissue is found inside the ovaries in the form of fluid-filled, dark cysts; also know as chocolate cysts. They can found in any organ of abdomen or pelvis.
- Abdominal wall endo is when endometrial tissue is found in the abdominal wall.
- Deep infiltrating endo is when endometrial tissue is found invading the connective tissues surrounding the uterus and ovaries e.g., urinary bladder or rectum. A scar tissue is formed that bonds organs together and fixes them in a place. This is called frozen pelvis. It is a rare condition.
What Are The Causes Of Endometriosis?
Nobody knows the exact cause. According to researchers, possible causes of endo include:
- Retrograde menstruation4: In this condition, the menstrual flow goes backward into the fallopian tubes and ovaries instead of out of the body. This backward flow can deposit endometrial tissue in other parts of the pelvis, where it can grow and cause problems.
- Genetic factors: Endo sometimes (not always) runs in families, so there are some genetic factor5 that come to play.
- Immune system defects: A weak immune system is unable to detect endometrial tissue outside the uterus.
- Hormonal imbalance: Estrogen is found to promote endo growth.
- Surgery: Endo also occurs in case of direct transplantation e.g., in caesarian (C-section).
Symptoms Of Endometriosis
Pelvic pain is the major sign of endo pain, often related to your menstrual cycle. The pain can range from mild to severe. Other symptoms6 include:
- Severe abdominal pain during periods.
- Fertility issues.
- Severe pain during intercourse.
- Painful urination during periods.
- Painful bowel movements during periods.
- Nausea, diarrhea, constipation, other gastrointestinal disorders.
Download our 12-page free endometriosis self-care tracker down below:
How To Diagnose Endometriosis
- A gynecologist can check for endometriosis in a few different ways. The most common method is through a pelvic exam7, during which the doctor will feel for any abnormal growths on the ovaries, fallopian tubes, or other areas in the pelvis.
- Another way to check for endo is through an ultrasound. This imaging test can show if there are any suspicious growths in the pelvis.
- Finally, a doctor may order a laparoscopy8 to confirm the diagnosis of the illness. This surgery involves making a small incision in the abdomen and inserting a camera into the pelvis to get a close look at any abnormal growths.
Women often get the diagnosis their 20s and 30s. However, the condition can occur in women of any age.
Treatment For Endometriosis
Time needed: 2 minutes
No complete cure has been found for the illness, but some medications can help relieve pain and improve fertility.
If you think you might have it, talk to your doctor about your symptoms and options for treatment. But here’s an overview of the common options doctors offer:
- Pain relievers To Treat Endo
NSAIDS, ibuprofen, Naproxen sodium are often the only ‘treatment’. But of course, it’s not really a treatment but rather a suppressor of your pain.
We have an Ultimate Guide To Holistic Endometriosis Pain Relief with many other options, that are holistic and more healthy and sustainable for the woman. Have a look at the guide!
- Hormonal medication To Treat Endo
Hormonal medication helps manage your symptoms. It involves birth control pills, progestin therapy, GnRH agonist or antagonist. This way you can suppress your period, which means, no or less tissue lining that starts to grow outside of uterus.
- Surgery To Treat Endo
In severe cases, doctors may perform surgery to remove endometrial growths from pelvis or abdomen. It might offer temporary relief, it’s good to know that it often comes back. Almost 80% of women9 develop symptoms again after the surgical treatment.
Endometriosis is a chronic, progressive condition that can worsen with age. Although, it has no complete treatment, but medications are available to alleviate the symptoms. If you are living with the illness, it is important to stay informed about the latest research and developments in treatment options.
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