Endometriosis is a chronic condition that affects an estimated 10 percent of reproductive-aged women globally, according to the World Health Organization. Women who have been diagnosed with this condition often report experiencing severe pelvic pain, along with a number of other symptoms that are disruptive and in some cases debilitating.
To learn more about how to protect yourself or those you love from this painful condition, keep reading.
What is Endometriosis?
A discussion of some parts of a woman’s reproductive system is helpful in tackling what endometriosis is. The endometrium is the name of the interior lining of a woman’s uterus, where the baby is sheltered during pregnancy. During a woman’s fertility cycle, this portion of the uterus begins to thicken in preparation for the implantation of a fertilized egg, in case a woman gets pregnant. If no fertilized egg is implanted, the thickened lining is sloughed off and ejected during menstruation.
Endometriosis, on the other hand, is the abnormal growth of tissues that resemble the endometrium, but grow in other parts of the body aside from the uterus. This abnormal growth of tissue can cause a number of negative physical reactions, including inflammation and intense discomfort.
If you know someone who might need treatment for this or any other condition, you may want to consider learning how EVA works to get the medical attention you need.
What are the symptoms of Endometriosis?
Endometriosis can present with a number of inconvenient and painful symptoms, including:
- Intense pain located mostly in the pelvis
- Irregular or heavy menstruation
- Vaginal bleeding in between menstrual periods
- Discomfort during or after sexual intercourse
- Very painful cramps which may appear before, during, or after menstrual period
- Painful bowel movements or urination during menstruation
- Fatigue or lethargy
- Bloating of the abdomen
- Unexplainable and chronic nausea
- Depression or anxiety
Women with endometriosis have also been found to develop lesions and resulting scar tissue in various parts of their reproductive system. Getting pregnant is also often very difficult for women with this condition. Research indicates that the resulting scar tissue can prevent successful implantation of a fertilized egg, especially if the scarring occurs in the uterus itself.
Researchers have also found cases of endometrial cells implanting in locations other than a woman’s reproductive system, including the rectum, bladder, inside the intestine, and even inside surgical scars.
How is endometriosis diagnosed?
When trying to determine whether you or someone you love has endometriosis, your doctor will usually start with an interview of you and your family medical history. Afterwards, they may also request a number of tests or scans to determine the presence of the condition, including:
- Ultrasound – This imaging technology will allow your doctor to see the actual structures in the area being scanned. In the case of suspected endometriosis, they will probably scan the pelvic and abdominal area.
- MRI – Magnetic Resonance Imaging, also known as an MRI, will give your doctor an even more detailed picture of the scanned area.
- Surgery or laparoscopy – In some cases, doctors will refer their patients to a surgeon, who will then use a laparoscope to directly view the areas suspected for growth of endometrial tissue.
If you have more questions and are curious about this or any other condition, you may refer to our FAQs for answers.
What are the causes of Endometriosis?
Specialists are uncertain about a specific cause of endometriosis, but there are a number of theories for how it arises, including:
- Genetics and family history – The likelihood of developing endometriosis increases if other female family members had or have the condition.
- Retrograde menstruation – Usually, when a woman menstruates, she should eject any endometrial cells from her body in her menses. In the case of retrograde menstruation, however, some of the blood and tissue washes back into the woman’s body. When this happens, the endometrial tissue that was supposed to be ejected implants itself and behaves like healthy endometrial tissue.
- Surgical scar implantation – This cause of endometriosis usually happens when a woman has abdominal surgery, or needs to undergo a Cesarean section to give birth. In the process of surgery, the surgeon may inadvertently transfer some endometrial cells to other parts of a woman’s body with their surgical implements.
- Endometrial cell transport – The body’s fluid systems, such as the blood vessels or lymphatic system, may inadvertently carry endometrial cells to other parts of the body.
- Immune system disorders – Certain conditions that compromise the immune system may prevent the body from recognizing and eliminating endometrial cells that implant in other places outside the uterus.
Learn more about our doctors and see how they can help you prevent this condition.
Are there any complications for Endometriosis?
Endometriosis can cause a number of health concerns that can seriously compromise a woman’s quality of life. Aside from the chronic pain and difficult menstruation that women with endometriosis regularly experience, some women with this condition may also have to deal with:
- Infertility – It’s already been mentioned that women who have endometriosis will probably have a difficult time conceiving. To begin with, endometriosis may make sexual intercourse uncomfortable. This is itself a deterrent to getting pregnant. But the condition itself can also cause scar tissue to form on important parts of the reproductive system, preventing them from functioning as they should.
- Obstruction of the small bowel – Some women who develop endometriosis experience growth of endometrial tissue in their intestines. When this becomes inflamed, it can cause a number of inconvenient and uncomfortable conditions, including incontinence or constipation.
- Cancer – Endometriosis also increases risk for ovarian cancer and endometriosis-associated carcinoma
How EVA Teleconsult Can Help with Endometriosis
EVA Teleconsult is always ready to attend to women’s special healthcare needs, including any issues that may arise from undiagnosed endometriosis. That’s because all of our patients always receive the following:
- Timely appointments – No more time wasted while waiting outside a doctor’s office. With us, appointments begin right when they’re supposed to, even if they’re made the same day.
- Guaranteed 30-minute consultation times – No more rushing or quickly dashed off prescriptions with no explanations. Our doctors take the time needed to give you information about your concerns, and are open to answering all your questions.
- 5-star ratings for our doctors – Because our doctors know to explain things in a way patients can understand, we frequently get positive feedback from them.
Talk to a doctor if you experience severe, chronic menstrual cramps, or when menstrual cramps interfere with daily activities. If no relief from over the counter medications is experienced, or there’s a change in the menstrual cycle and cramps over time, medical professionals should be consulted as well.
When it comes to endometriosis, early detection typically results in better outcomes. Get the treatment you or your loved one need and contact us today.