What Is Endometriosis?


Endometriosis is a condition where tissue similar to that inside the uterus (endometrium), grows in other areas of the body, most commonly in the pelvis. This is usually on the Fallopian, ovaries and tissues around the uterus. Endometriosis can affect any women of any age. It affects women between ages 25-40, but symptoms can begin at puberty.


Symptoms of Endometriosis

The symptoms of endometriosis vary. Some women experience mild symptoms while others may experience moderate to severe symptoms. However the severity of your pain does not indicate the degree or stage of your condition.

The primary symptom of endometriosis is pelvic pain, mainly associated with menstrual periods. Though many experience cramping during their menstrual periods, those with endometriosis typically describe menstrual period that’s far worse than normal


Other symptoms:

  • Pain during menstrual cycle (dysmenorrhea). Pelvic pain and cramping may begin before and extend several days into menstrual period. You may experience some abdominal and back pain.

  • Pain during and after sex

  • Pain with bowel movements and urination during menstrual period.

  • Excessive bleeding. You may experience occasional heavy menstrual period or bleeding between periods (intermenstrual period)

  • Infertility: having issues with fertility is a serious complication of endometriosis. Women with milder forms may be able to conceive and carry the baby to term. You might consider having children sooner than later if you’ve been diagnosed with endometriosis and you want to have children.

  • Fatigue, diarrhea, constipation, bloating or nausea especially during menstrual cycle


Tests to check for physical clues of endometriosis include;

  1. Pelvic exam: where the doctor manually feels (palpates) areas in your pelvis for abnormalities such as cyst on your reproductive organs or scars behind your uterus

  2. Ultrasound: the test uses high frequency waves to create images of the inside of the body. A standard ultrasound imaging wont definitively tell your doctor whether you have endometriosis but it can identify cyst associated with endometriosis

  3. Laparoscopy: This a minor surgery that allows viewing of your abdomen. The test provides information about the location, extent and size of the endometrial implants. Once diagnosed the tissue can be removed with the same procedure


Treatment

Treatment for endometriosis usually involves surgery or medication. The treatment your doctor chooses depends on how severe your signs and symptoms are and if you hope to become pregnant. Doctors in most cases recommend trying conservative treatment approaches first, opting for surgery if initial treatment fails

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