What Is Endometriosis And How Is It Treated?

Normally, the uterus will have a tissue that lines the inside of it called the endometrium. However, in some cases, tissue similar to that one decides to expand itself outside of the uterus area.  This tissue can spread everywhere around the uterus and sometimes even in other pelvic organs. When this happens, the patient experiences pain similar to the one during a menstrual cycle.

Endometriosis is a disorder where the endometrial-like tissue will act exactly like its original tissue in the endometrium, which means that it will thicken and break down, causing bleeding like it would during each menstrual cycle. While this would not be a big problem if it was inside of the uterus like it normally is, once it is outside, like, during endometriosis, it does not have a way to leave the body.

As the tissue gets trapped in the body without any way of leaving it, over time, it slowly forms into cysts called endometriomas. This then causes the tissue to become irritated, and as time passes by, it will develop into scar tissue and adhesions that cause pelvic organs to stick to one another. While these are the basics of the disorder, we will discuss it in more detail with symptoms, causes, and treatment.

What are the symptoms?

There are a couple of symptoms that are good indicators that a person might be suffering from endometriosis. Foremost, because the pain from this condition is often in the pelvic area, experiencing a pelvic area that is associated with the menstrual period is the most indicative symptom.

Of course, some women tend to experience cramps during menstrual periods anyway, so sometimes, this indicator is not the best in such cases. However, that is why there are other symptoms such as pain during intercourse, pain during bowel movements or urination, excessive bleeding, infertility, and other symptoms that are more common in other conditions such as fatigue, diarrhea, constipation, and nausea.

The severity of the symptoms can be different for each person, but if you notice that you are having some of these, especially pelvic pain, you should consider scheduling an appointment with a gynecologist by visiting or going in person if possible.

Pelvic pain is often the biggest indicator of endometriosis

What are the causes?

While the exact causes of endometriosis are not certain, there are various speculations about why this condition might develop. Retrograde menstruation is one of the primary explanations that doctors are considering, as, during retrograde menstruation, the blood containing endometrial cells flows back through the fallopian tubes. It then ends up in the pelvic cavity and thus sticks to the pelvic walls.

The transformation of peritoneal cells is another explanation, and it suggests that the hormones or immune factors promote the transformation of cells that are on the inner side of the abdomen into endometrial cells. An immune disorder that lets these cells grow outside the uterus is another issue related to this.

The embryonic cell transformation where hormones such as estrogen turn embryonic cells into endometrial-like cells during early puberty is another possibility. Lastly, surgical scar implementation or endometrial cell transport where cells attach to a surgical incision or are transported via blood vessels is another possible explanation.

Several risk factors increase the chances of a person developing endometriosis, such as never giving birth, going through menopause at an older age, short menstrual cycles, low body mass index, relatives who had endometriosis, disorders of the reproductive tract, and higher levels of estrogen in the body.

How is it diagnosed?

When you visit a gynecologist, there is a high chance that they will detect it on their own while doing the pelvic exam with palpation, especially if there is a lot of endometrial tissue behind the uterus. However, a much better way to diagnose this condition is via ultrasound.

Ultrasound uses high-frequency sound to create images of the inside of your body. To capture these images, the gynecologist will use a device called the transducer, which is inserted into your vagina and pressed against the abdomen. It is the best way to diagnose endometriosis.

How Endometriosis is diagnosed

Regular checkups at the doctor where they will tell you everything is OK are always recommended

How is it treated?

The most common way endometriosis is treated is with a procedure called laparoscopy. It is a surgical procedure, and while that sounds scary, it is pretty standard and not scary at all. If you undergo laparoscopy for endometriosis in Orange, you will undergo general anesthesia, and the surgeon will make a small incision. With correct planning, all the tissue can be removed in a single surgery.

What are the complications?

While the complications are quite rare, if endometriosis is not treated in time, it can easily lead to either infertility or ovarian cancer. Both of these complications can develop as a result of the cells growing and making cysts and then blocking certain parts of the pelvic area.

Final word

If you suspect that you have endometriosis, you should schedule an appointment with your gynecologist immediately. Do not be afraid to share all of the details with them when it comes to your menstrual cycles, sex history, and feelings, as they can be important information that can help the gynecologist find the problem or a solution to it.

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