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Endometriosis is when tissue that looks like the endometrium (the uterine lining) grows outside the uterus. It generates a long-term, inflammatory response that can lead to scar tissue formation (adhesions, fibrosis) in the pelvis and other regions of the body. Pieces of the uterine lining, or tissue that looks like it, can grow outside of the uterus on other pelvic organs where it doesn’t belong. These growths are called endometrial implants. As a result, the tissue thickens and bleeds outside the uterus — just like endometrial tissue does during menstrual periods.
It is commonly believed to affect 10% of females globally within their reproductive period. They are widely discovered in the pelvis or abdomen. They can also grow on sensitive areas like the lining/organs of the fallopian tubes and the ovaries. In most cases, the tissue grows and sheds throughout the menstrual cycle — just like the endometrium. However, as time passes, the shed tissue becomes imprisoned since it has nowhere else to go. This results in inflammation, scarring, and cysts, posing more threats to the body.
Medical experts group endometriosis in types and stages. There are four types of endometriosis:
Stages: Depending on the size of the tissue, its depth, and the areas affected, it will classify under the four stages of endometriosis. These are:
More severe symptoms include:
Endometriosis has a wide range of symptoms, making it difficult for experts to diagnose. This causes many people to suffer from its lack of awareness. Therefore, it can often lead to a long period between the start of symptoms and the diagnosis. A key factor to detecting endometriosis is critically examining the history of menstrual symptoms and chronic pain. Even with the development of practical testing tools, it is still tricky to correctly diagnose it. However, if you suffer from one (or more) of the symptoms listed above, consult your doctor immediately. Endometriosis has no known cure at the moment, thus therapy is mainly focused on symptom management.
Effective treatments of endometriosis heavily depend on the type, stage/duration of the illness, and patient’s preferences. To change the hormonal conditions that induce endometriosis, medical treatments focus on lowering estrogen or raising progesterone. Standard therapies include:
Always consult your doctor before taking any treatment measures.
The best treatment measure is to consult your doctor if you have any symptoms — the most common of which is excruciating menstrual cramps. Early diagnosis makes treatment easier and effective. Other vital tips are:
Can someone with endometriosis get pregnant? Yes, you can but it could be more complex than not. Consult your doctor and gynecologist about the possibilities of conceiving.
Does endometriosis end after menopause? After menopause, some women’s painful endometriosis symptoms improve. The growths gradually decrease as the body stops producing estrogen. Some women on menopausal hormone therapy, however, may still experience endometriosis symptoms.
What causes endometriosis?
Healthier Me Today is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment, always consult with your healthcare professional. Stay healthy!