Endometrium is referred to the layer of tissue growing inside the uterus (womb). Endometriosis is a condition wherein the endometrial tissue has its growth outside the uterus like lining cells and is seen in the pelvic area, the ovaries, fallopian tubes or the intestines, rectum or bladder. This condition might cause pain, bleeding and even infertility. Severe bleeding occurs as blood flowing from the endometrial tissue that has grown outside the uterus, does not have an outlet to move. Few women experience severe bleeding and pain with the growth of cysts, lesions and scars on the tissue during menstruation cycle. Others might not feel uncomfortable even in the case of endometriosis.
It is often observed that women aged between 25 and 35 are diagnosed to be having endometriosis. In rare cases girls aged 11 might also fall under this category. It is believed that women who delay pregnancy till an older age are always at the risk of developing the condition.
Very few symptoms may be identified during endometriosis. However, some women might experience mild or severe symptoms occurring overtime. The following are some of the symptoms:
- Pain during menstruation
- Severe pelvic pain
- Pain in the lower abdomen
- Difficulty in becoming pregnant
- Pain during intercourse
- Irregular or heavy bleeding during periods
- Painful or frequent urination during periods
- Blood in the urine
- Extreme tiredness
- Pain with bowel movements
- Pelvic or low back pain
Chest pain, seizures, head ache and blood cough are rare symptoms of endometriosis.
The exact cause for endometriosis is not perfectly clear. It is treated to be a common problem. The most important cause might include the endometrial cells that become loose where the menstrual flow gets into the fallopian tubes and the abdominal cavity and pelvis during menstruation cycle. This is known as retrograde flow. Most of the women suffer from retrograde flow. The growth of endometrial cells lining the pelvic organs might also experience a growth of different forms of tissue. The other possible reasons might be early menstruation, early menstrual cycles, and women without children and blocks that stop the flow during menstrual cycle. Small pieces of endometrial cells might move to the blood vessels or the lymphatic system and reach the other parts of the body such as eyes, brain, skin or lungs. Some women with low immune system and dysfunctions are at the risk of endometriosis. People exposed to environmental toxins might also experience a disadvantageous effect on the hormones and the immune system. It is also observed that the disease might affect others based on the hereditary condition of a family.
The diagnosis of endometriosis might not be very clear even for women. However, the most common symptom for endometriosis might be observed with pelvic pain. A thorough physical check up might also show the symptoms of the disease. Pelvic exam helps the gynecologist to diagnose the disease. Transvaginal ultrasound helps in identifying the disease more clearly. Pelvic laparoscopy is another test to remove a tissue and conduct a biopsy. It is done under a general anesthesia to observe the sample under a microscope. Ultra sound, MRI scans, CA 125 and other tests might also help in recognizing the disease though none of them actually reveal a confirmation.
There is no absolute cure for endometriosis. However, the treatments enhance in the reduction of its symptoms and allow a person to work in the normal pace. The first treatment to be given to such patients is to increase the production of estrogen in the body. Hormonal therapy might help in regulating the flow during menstruation. Oral contraceptive pills, progesterone pills or injections, Danazol and Mirena are some of the medications given to reduce the intensity of endometriosis. Medications might only prevent from worsening the situation. Pelvic laproscopy or laparotomy might destruct the growth of endometrial tissue and scar tissue. Removal of the uterus might be suggested to women who are not willing to produce children in future. Hysterectomy can also be a possible solution for the disease where both the ovaries are removed.
It is often observed that the kind of treatment is based upon factors like age of the patient, severe conditions to the disease and the willingness to want children in future.
The disease might lead to complications relating to pregnancy. Pelvic pain might become intolerable and disturb the other activities. Cysts might form in the pelvis and might cause severe pain. Sometimes gastrointestinal or urinary tracts might experience a blockage after the implants of endometriosis. The usage of progesterone pills or injections might cause depression, increase the weight and lead to blood stains. Excessive use of medications leads to tenderness in the breast, nausea, and other hormonal defects. In rare cases the place where endometriosis develops might experience ovarian cancer after the stage of menopause in women.
The usage of birth control pills might prevent the disease to increase its intensity. Use of oral contraceptive pills might reduce the flow during menstruation and also reduce the risk of retrograde bleeding. It is often advised to avoid getting married and barring children at an early age. Change in the lifestyle, taking a healthy diet, exercises and natural therapies might help in the prevention of endometriosis.
The best preventive measure for endometriosis is to avoid toxins in the diet. Eating healthy foods, drinking plenty of water and including fruit juices in the diet help a woman to be free from such disease. Cleaning and grooming habits demand changes for women as they are resistant to acquire such diseases inwardly. Particularly during menstruation cycle it is often advised a woman to be more conscious about cleanliness. Performing physical exercises also help in bringing out the unnecessary toxins in the body in the form of sweat. Some kind of spiritual therapy exercises might also help in balance the mind and thought. Ginger tea would help for people who experience nausea. It is suggested that placing an ice cube on the abdomen would relieve the pain. Fish is said to be the best food to relieve endometriosis. It is better to avoid dairy products like milk, cheese and butter as it makes the disease worse. The use of cabbage improves the state of estrogen in the body. Flax seeds, whole some grains, and salads serve as the best natural remedy to treat endometriosis.
However, it is very clear that there is no definiteness in curing endometriosis. Hormone therapy and pelvic laparoscopy might not serve the purpose. Endometriosis leads to infertility in few women. Laparoscopic surgery might improve the condition of infertility.