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What is Endometriosis?

A painful gynaecological condition called endometriosis affects one in ten women who are of reproductive age. It can result in excruciating pains that might grow worse with changing hormone levels. Let's understand endometriosis meaning and the condition in detail.

Heavy, painful periods may be uncomfortable for a woman, but at what point can these signs raise suspicion of other serious medical complications? While cramps and pain in the abdomen are common throughout the monthly cycle, they can also be signs of endometriosis.

Endometriosis is a medical condition where tissue that resembles the lining of your uterus develops on other parts of your body. You may experience painful symptoms that may have an impact on your everyday life if this tissue (endometrial cyst) develops in the incorrect body parts. Fallopian tubes, ovaries, urethra, and the tissue lining the pelvic region are the areas of the body where endometriosis most commonly affects women. In endometriosis, the tissues can sometimes be detected outside of the pelvic organs, which differentiates it from Endometrial Hyperplasia, where the uterine lining grows and thickens, staying inside the uterus.

Each menstrual cycle causes the endometrial cyst (Endometrioma) in the endometrial lining to thicken, degrade, and bleed. This tissue, however, gets stuck since it has nowhere to move but inside your body, causing an inflamed surrounding tissue which may ultimately produce scar tissue and adhesions, bands of fibrous tissue. It causes the tissues and organs of the pelvis to stick to one another.

This ovarian endometrioma in your pelvis can lead to inflammation, scarring, excruciating pain throughout your menstrual cycle, and difficulties with fertility. You can get endometriosis in different areas, including the following:

  • Fallopian tubes
  • Bladder and ureters
  • Ovaries
  • Intestines
  • Vagina
  • Rectum
  • Outside and behind your uterus
  • Peritoneum (your pelvic and abdominal lining)
  • Diaphragm (a respiratory muscle that is located close to the bottom of your chest)


What causes Endometriosis?

Although doctors are uncertain of the specific cause of endometriosis, there are a few possibilities that might account for it:

1. Reverse menstruation - In this, menstrual blood with endometrial cells returns to the pelvic cavity via the fallopian tubes rather than leaving the body. Throughout each menstrual cycle, these endometrial cells adhere to the surfaces of the pelvic organs and the walls of the pelvis, where they develop, thicken, and bleed.

2. Transformation of peritoneal cells - Peritoneal cells, which line the inner side of your abdomen, can change into endometrioma in response to hormones or immunological factors.

3. Blood or lymph system transport - Similar to how cancer cells may spread across the body, endometrial tissues can also travel to different body parts through the blood or lymphatic systems.

4. Immune system disorder - An issue with the immune system may be the root of the body's inability to recognize and destroy endometrial-like tissue that is forming outside the uterus.

5. Direct transplantation - Following a procedure like a C-section or a hysterectomy, endometrial cysts may stick to the abdominal wall or other parts of the body.

6. Genetics - There may be a hereditary element to endometriosis as some families appear to be more susceptible than others to the condition.

What are the symptoms of Endometriosis?

Endometriosis is usually associated with a variety of symptoms, where pain is the major symptom. Although endometriosis is a common condition, not everyone who has it will have symptoms. Endometriosis can occasionally go undetected until it is discovered through another surgery or an investigation into infertility.

People with endometriosis may have the following symptoms:

  • Menstrual cramps are excruciatingly severe
  • Pain when having sex
  • When on your period or in between periods, you may have back pain or abdominal pain
  • Heavy bleeding at the time of menstruation or spotting (light bleeding) in between cycles
  • Diarrhoea or constipation during a menstrual period
  • Painful bowel motions
  • Fatigue or a lack of energy
  • Infertility

There is no link between endometriosis symptoms and the severity of the disease. Some women may have only a few patches of endometriosis and yet suffer from extreme discomfort. Some may have severe endometriosis yet not be in a lot of pain.

How is Endometriosis diagnosed?

Your medical history and physical examination may lead your doctor to suspect endometriosis, and the following tests may be performed to confirm the endometriosis diagnosis:

The following are typical diagnostic imaging tests that can be done.


What are the Stages of Endometriosis?

Endometriosis is classified into four stages by doctors. The phases are determined by where endometrial cysts are found in the body, how far it has travelled, and how much tissue is present in those locations. A more advanced stage of endometriosis does not always imply more severe symptoms or more pain. Some women with endometriosis in Stage 1 (mild) have little or no symptoms, but those in Stage 4 (severe) might have significant problems.

What is the Endometriosis treatment?

Your pain management and addressing your reproductive concerns will be the main goals of your treatment strategy. Both surgery and medication can be utilised. The symptoms of endometriosis are frequently managed with the use of medication. They may include hormone treatments and painkillers. The following hormonal treatments for preventing endometriosis:

  • Birth Control
  • Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) medications

In rare circumstances, the doctor may advise surgery to diagnose and manage endometriosis. Endometriosis surgery can help with pain relief and, in some situations, even increase fertility. Endometriosis can be treated surgically using the following techniques:

  • Laparoscopy
  • Hysterectomy

If you have endometriosis and want to get pregnant, In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) may be able to assist.

What Endometriosis-related complications may you expect?

Having endometriosis can lead to a multitude of health problems.

  • Endometriosis patients may have problems conceiving.
  • Endometriosis might potentially cause bowel or bladder problems. This can include experiencing bowel or voiding pain or observing blood in your pee or stool.
  • You may have kidney swelling as a result of severe ureteral endometriosis.
  • Endometriosis might affect your diaphragm or lungs, which can cause chest discomfort, shortness of breath, or lung collapse.

If you experience chronic discomfort and painful periods and are facing trouble becoming pregnant, you should visit the nearby fertility hospital. The condition can be effectively treated and managed. Have regular appointments with the doctors and never lose hope.

If you have any queries or want to consult the top fertility doctors in India, contact Indira IVF today.

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