Endometriosis is a common condition which affects 176 million women worldwide. However, many women are left undiagnosed. Endometriosis is when the tissue lining the womb is found in other parts of the body, appearing in various places such as the fallopian tubes, ovaries, bladder and bowels. Usually, endometriosis affects women of childbearing age and is increasingly uncommon for menopausal women to suffer from.
Although endometriosis can cause long-term conditions that could significantly impact your life, there are treatments and surgeries to help those suffering from this condition.
Development of endometrial tissue to areas outside the uterus (endometriosis)
Causes of Endometriosis
The cause is relatively unknown, so several theories have been suggested. The most common theories behind endometriosis are genetics, retrograde menstruation, immune system troubles and the spreading of endometrial cells.
Retrograde menstruation is when parts of the womb’s lining flows through a woman’s fallopian tubes, embedding itself on the organs of the pelvis. This happens in conjunction with a woman’s period, and on top of this, embedded endometriosis lesions will begin to have their own “mini-period,” and spread. However, none of these theories provide fully-developed explanations, and medical practitioners believe endometriosis is a condition caused by a combination of factors instead of one sole reason.
Watch Out for Symptoms
Symptoms will vary from person to person, with some women experiencing extreme pain, while others may only feel slight discomfort or have almost no symptoms at all. The latter may be the reason behind endometriosis being left commonly undetected.
Symptoms you should look out for are as follows:
- Severe period pain which cannot be relieved by painkillers
- Unusual heavy periods which are abnormal from your normal bodily functions
- Pain during sexual intercourse
- Discomfort and pain when going to the restroom
- Pelvic pain which commonly occurs around the time of your period
- General feelings of fatigue that no amount of sleep can fix
Also, for some, endometriosis can interfere with normal, everyday activities, and may even lead to depression. It can, sadly, also cause difficulty when getting pregnant or stop a woman from becoming pregnant at all.
Diagnosis and Treatment Options
If you believe you are suffering from one or many of the symptoms listed above, make sure to book an appointment with your primary physician, especially if the symptoms are greatly affecting your life. Although endometriosis can be difficult to diagnose, your doctor may refer you to a specialist such as a gynecologist, or preferably an endometriosis specialist.
Treatments for endometriosis include anti-inflammatory painkillers, hormone medicines and contraceptives or surgery which can be performed by trusted surgeons such as those at Drseckin.com. Laparoscopic surgical techniques for endometriosis, look to remove endometriosis tissue from, but if symptoms persist and cause great pain even after conservative surgery, more radical measures of removing part or all of the endometriosis affected organs, such as a hysterectomy, might be recommended. Nevertheless, no such surgery should be performed without your consent and comfort.
You should always feel safe when discussing your symptoms with a doctor, and by doing so, a doctor will be able to discuss your options with you. Therefore, you will be able to select a treatment program you feel comfortable with, and if your symptoms are unbearable, be able to consider surgery from the get-go.
Endometriosis can be difficult to cope with, both physically and emotionally, so consider support outside of your doctor. There are many support groups out there who will be able to talk you through the condition while relaying their stories and coping mechanisms to you. One of the best support pillars you can have outside of family and close friends is fellow women who have been through similar experiences.