It isn’t easy to understand how our human body parts work. However, when you experience certain unusual health problems, don’t neglect them. They are like reminders from your body, indicating that it’s time to take extra care of your body. Of course, we all experience such reminders, but female bodies tend to emphasize them more. ‘Endometriosis’ is one such painful indication for women.
What is Endometriosis
A painful condition occurs when cells that look like endometrium develop in the uterine cavity. It is often called endometrial implants. The endometrium is a layer formed with endometrium cells lining the uterine cavity from inside. In most women, Endometriosis grows on this layer. However, it may also develop on some other reproductive organs, which include the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and tissues lining your cervix and pelvis. In some rare cases, it can spread to other areas of the body.
Over time the endometrial-like tissue increases its size, becomes inflamed & painful. Gradually, it becomes thick, ruptures, and results in heavy bleeding during the menstrual cycle.
Signs & Symptoms of Endometriosis
Naturally, a woman’s menstrual cycle is usually accompanied by mild pain, but women with Endometriosis may experience unbearable pain during Menstruation, and the pain may worsen with time. Other symptoms include:
- Menorrhagia – periods that are heavy
- Menometrorrhagia – Unusual bleeding during mensuration
- Dysmenorrhea – Painful periods
- Early bleeding, i.e. bleeding before the period starts
- Painful sex
- Bowel movements that are painful
- Urinating more than usual
- Lower back pain
- Abdominal pain
People also experience other symptoms like fatigue, constipation, headaches, diarrhoea, etc., particularly at the time of Menstruation.
What Causes Endometriosis?
This painful condition does not have a specific cause. The following are some causes for Endometriosis that may be involved.
- Disorder in the immune system – damage or malfunction of the immune system
- Retrograde Menstruation – the condition in which menstrual blood is redirected into the fallopian tubes and pelvic cavity instead of leaving the body.
- The transformation of coelomic cells & peritoneal cells into endometrial like cells might lead to Endometriosis.
- The estrogen hormones trigger the embryonic cells’ transformation into endometrial-like cells, putting you at risk for Endometriosis.
- Scar Endometriosis
- Endometrial cells can travel to other body parts, attach themselves there, and grow.
Treatment For Endometriosis:
Endometriosis treatment mainly depends on the severity of the condition. It is possible to treat mild cases of Endometriosis with medication, and surgery is necessary for severe cases. When conservative treatments fail to improve a patient’s condition, then also surgery is recommended. Endometriosis results in severe health consequences if left untreated.
NSAIDs or ibuprofen, or naproxen sodium are commonly used pain medications to manage painful menstrual cramps. However, these medications provide temporary relief only for some people.
Hormone therapy can reduce pain as well as slow the growth of endometrial tissue.
Hormonal contraceptives (birth control pills, patches, and vaginal rings) can control the hormones that trigger endometrial tissue growth.
Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (Gn-RH) drugs control the production of certain hormones and therefore shrink endometrial tissue.
Progestin therapy is an effective procedure to treat endometriosis lesions. They can stop the growth of Endometriosis and suppress the lesions.
Conservative surgery – this is a procedure to remove the masses of endometrial tissue through laparoscopy or minimally invasive surgery without disturbing other reproductive organs. For women who suffer from severe pain or if they are unable to conceive, this surgery may be recommended.
Hysterectomy – As a last resort, this surgery may be prescribed to treat endometriosis lesions when other treatment options fail to improve the condition. A hysterectomy refers to the removal of endometrial tissue and other reproductive organs, which include the uterus, cervix, and ovaries. Unfortunately, women who undergo hysterectomy surgery can’t give birth to children anymore.
Women with Endometriosis who are planning to conceive should take extra care of themselves. It’s better to consult an expert gynaecologist who can diagnose and provide treatment for Endometriosis if necessary. At Matrusri Hospital, Dr. Susmitha, the Best Gynaecologist in Hyderabad, has years of experience in treating mild to severe forms of Endometriosis. Endometriosis complications can be prevented by diagnosing and treating the condition as early as possible.