According to the doctors of Mayo Clinic, endometriosis is a condition in which the endometrial tissue which generally covers the inside of the uterus grows in a location outside of the uterus.
Endometrial tissue consists of connective tissue, blood cells and glands that normally forms in the uterus to prepare the womb for ovulation.
Endometriosis occurs when this tissue which typically lines the uterus starts growing outside the uterus. This can give rise to a number of symptoms and can be extremely painful.
Endometriosis is a common disorder of the female reproductive system which affects about 6-10 percent of the women in the reproductive age.
It is also the leading cause of chronic pelvic pain in women.
Endometriosis can be minimal, mild, medium or severe depending on the location and extend of the growth.
Let's know about the causes, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of the condition.
Although the exact cause of endometriosis is uncertain, but according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, possible explanations include:
Immune system disorder
Surgical scar implantation
Endometrial cell transfer via the blood cells or other lymphatic system
Embryonic cell transformation
Retrogade menstruation: In this the menstrual flow containing the endometrial tissue may flow back through the fallopian tubes into the abdominal or pelvic cavity leading to a deposition of the endometrial tissue at unusual locations.
Peritoneal cell transformation: The cells forming the pelvic organs may transform into other form of tissue such as endometrial tissue
Other risk factors include:
Low body mass index
Late Menopausal phase
Excessive Alcohol Consumption
According to the doctors at Mayo Clinic, the signs and symptoms of endometriosis include:
Excessive bleeding during menstruation
Discomfort in bowel movements or urination
Vomiting and Nausea
According to the US NIH, the severity of your pain doesn't indicate the degree or extent of your condition.
Some women may have severe pain but may have mild endo, while some women may have little pain or discomfort but may have a severe form of the disease.
In order to diagnose endometriosis, your doctor may ask questions about your symptoms including the location of the pain and when it happens. For an accurate diagnosis, your doctors may conduct certain tests to check for endometriosis. According to Hopkins Medicine, these tests may include:
Laparoscopy: Your doctor may refer you to a surgeon to look inside your abdomen for signs of endometriosis with the help of the procedure called laparoscopy. It is one of the most common surgical procedure to diagnose endometriosis
A biopsy may also e performed to obtain a tissue diagnosis
Magentic Resonance Imaging
There are various options for treating endometriosis as recommended by doctors at Mayo Clinic:
Endometriosis can be treated with certain medication, but may also need surgery. Your doctors may also prescribe pain relief such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to help with painful menstruation.
Hormone therapy or medication may be effective in easing oreliminating pain in some cases. This may include hormonal contraceptives, progestin therapy, Gonadotropin releasing hormone analogs or danazols.
Surgery may be definitive or conservative and can be useful when the symptoms are severe or there has been no response to other treatments.
(This article is for your general information only. Before trying out any remedy or treatment, FIT advises you to consult a qualified medical professional.)