Endometriosis is derived from the word endometrium which is the tissue that lines the inside of the uterus. Endometriosis happens when this endometrial tissue is found outside the uterus.
What is Endometriosis?
Endometrial tissue is found lining the inside of the uterus and responds to hormones, which causes the uterus to shed its endometrial lining. In endometriosis, the endometrial tissue flourishes outside the uterine cavity, most commonly in the abdominal cavity. These cells also respond to the hormones in a manner similar to the endometrial cells in the uterus and also breaks apart and bleed.
Menstrual fluid from the uterus is expelled from the body during menstruation. However, blood from the tissue outside the uterus has no way of being discharged from the body. Thus tissues around the area of endometriosis may become swollen and inflamed. The inflammation may produce scar tissue around the area of endometriosis. These sites of endometrial tissue may develop into what are called lesions, implants, nodules, growths or cysts. The ovaries of the woman are the most common place for these growths.
What Are the Symptoms of Endometriosis?
In some cases of endometriosis, no prominent symptoms are present. When symptoms are experienced, they can include:
- Mild to severe abdominal cramps or back pain during menstruation
- Extremely painful menstrual cramps
- Severely painful movements of the bowels
- Pain, urgency, frequency of urination especially during menstruation
- Abnormal or excess bleeding during menstruation
- Painful sexual intercourse
- Difficulty in becoming pregnant
Endometriosis can lead to scarring of tissues in the abdomen leading to adhesion formation between organs.
It is thought that there is a genetic predisposition to develop endometriosis. There is a six fold increased incidence in women who have first degree relatives with the disease.
What are the Treatment Options Available for Endometriosis?
Cases of endometriosis where symptoms are mild or absent usually does not require medical treatment. Your doctor may just choose to follow up periodically to monitor it.
However, when symptoms of endometriosis are experienced, treatment may vary. Treatment will depend on whether you are being treated for pain or infertility caused by endometriosis.
Medications for Endometriosis Treatment in India
Your doctor will prescribe pill form of hormones that needs to be taken daily if it's a mild case of endometriosis. Hormone treatment is prescribed because it helps in reducing the size of tissue growth. It also helps in reducing the amount of blood produced during menstruation thus giving time for tissue to heal. But once hormone treatment stops, tissue growth usually returns to its original size
Unfortunately, medicines are not successful in treating the infertility caused by endometriosis.
Surgery for Endometriosis Treatment in India
For extremely severe endometriosis cases, laparoscopy can be performed to remove scarred tissue. This surgical procedure helps in pain relief and can increase chances of pregnancy. If the patient does not respond to any endometriosis treatment and still continues to suffer from severe pain and discomfort, hysterectomy can be performed. In this procedure the ovaries and uterus are surgically removed.
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