Endometriosis is a complication that develops in the female reproductive system. It occurs when the endometrium tissue grows outside the womb.
Endometriosis is a medical condition that affects a woman’s reproductive system. The uterus, also known as the womb, is an organ where the baby develops till birth. In this disorder, the endometrium, mucous membrane lining the uterus, grows outside the uterus. The most common sites where endometrial tissue grows outside the uterus are the bladder, ovaries, bowels, and at times, even behind the uterus. Endometrial growths have also been detected in the lungs and arms, although this is very rare. Women in their early thirties are commonly diagnosed with this gynecological condition.
The severity of symptoms vary from person to person. In some cases, women do not experience any symptoms, even though they suffer from this disorder of the reproductive system. Some women feel pain that ranges from relatively mild to severe. Pain is especially severe during the menstrual cycle. Following are the symptoms of this medical condition:
- Pain in the abdomen and pelvic areas, and pelvic pain during urination and intercourse
- Severe menstrual cramps
- Impaired fertility – In most cases, women suffering from this condition have difficulty becoming pregnant.
- Painful periods
- Pain during pelvic examination by a doctor.
- Severe pain during bowel movement
- Blood in the stool or urine
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Nausea or dizziness
- Vaginal bleeding after intercourse
- Occasional, heavy periods
- Swollen abdomen (if endometrial tissue is formed on the bladder or bowel)
What causes this female reproductive disorder is still not known. However, doctors have put forth some theories to explain the reasons behind the occurrence of this disorder.
- The immune system generally kills all the endometrial cells that are present outside the uterus. But, the immune system of endometriosis patients may be incapable of performing this task.
- Blood circulation may be responsible for moving of endometrial cells to other body parts.
If treatment is not taken, symptoms will worsen and general health declines. There are cases in which endometrial growth has spread beyond pelvic region. Unfortunately, doctors are yet to find a medicine or therapy to cure this female reproductive disorder. However, there are medicines available which can effectively control the symptoms and reduce the pain.
Drug treatment: Drug treatment is useful, if the symptoms are mild. Painkillers are commonly prescribed to reduce the pain. Women diagnosed with moderate endometriosis can get pregnant.
Surgery: If the symptoms are severe, surgical procedures are used to remove the uterus or both the ovaries. Surgery is beneficial for those who have severe pain due to endometriosis.
Hormonal Treatment: This involves taking hormonal medicines to ease symptoms and decrease discomfort. The aim is to reduce the size of endometrial growth. This can be achieved by taking oral contraceptives, androgens and progestogens. Complementary therapies such as aromatherapy and acupuncture are also helpful to improve the condition of the patient.
Finding a treatment that makes you feel comfortable is necessary to manage this medical condition. Home remedies such as heating pads and warm baths can also help to relieve pelvic pain.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.