Endometriosis Treatment – Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis & Risks

Endometrium is a layer of tissue that lines the inside of a woman’s uterus. The condition in which this tissue grows outside the uterus is known as endometriosis. Endometriosis mostly occurs on other reproductive organs like the ovaries, the fallopian tubes and the tissues surrounding the uterus and the ovaries, but it may also affect other organs as well. It usually remains restricted to the pelvic and lower abdomen region. This condition affects women within the ages of 30 to 40 years most frequently. Basically, it affects women during their reproductive years usually i.e. between 15 to 44 years.

This tissue i.e. the endometrium, irrespective of where it grows, continues to perform its function i.e. it thickens, breaks down and bleeds just as it does in a menstrual cycle. However, unlike the normal menstrual cycle, this blood cannot flow out of the body and thus gets trapped inside. This not only leads to severe pain during menstruation, it also causes irritation and eventually development of scar tissues on surrounding organs and may lead to fertility problems as well. Cysts called endometriomas may also form if endometriosis involves the ovaries.

CAUSES OF ENDOMETRIOSIS

To understand this condition, it is important to understand the causes of a endometriosis i.e. the reasons why there is a formation of abnormal tissue outside the uterus.

• Retrograde Menstruation is one of the most likely causes where the menstrual blood travels back through the fallopian tubes, which are open ended, and sticks to the organs surrounding it.
• Transformation of cells that line the inner side of your abdomen i.e. the peritoneal cells into endometrium cells is a possible cause and is called induction theory.
• Hormonal changes during puberty can also cause endometriosis.
• Women suffering from immune system disorder are also more likely to suffer from endometriosis.
• Genetics play an important role here – if your mother or sister had it or have it, chances of your having it are higher.

RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH ENDOMETRIOSIS

Endometriosis is associated with certain risk factors as under:

1. Women who are actively menstruated are at a higher risk. Post menopause, the risk disappears.
2. If your menstrual cycle is irregular i.e. it is shorter than 28 days are likely to suffer from endometriosis.
3. If the number of days for which you have your menses is more than 7 days, you are at a higher risk.
4. If your reproductive organs are abnormally shaped thus leading to blockages in flow to occur and cause endometriosis
5. If you’ve never been pregnant, the chances of your suffering from endometriosis are higher.

SYMPTOMS OF ENDOMETRIOSIS

So how do you know that you may have endometriosis which may, in fact, need care on your part as well as a visit to the doctor?

It is important to be sensitive and mindful of the following symptoms:

1. The most primary symptom is pain. Pain in the pelvic region, lower abdomen, and lower back, especially around your menses,
which is usually far worse than the regular cramping that many women experience.
2. Pain during and after intercourse is an indicator of endometriosis.
3. Pain during urination and bowel movements is also a symptom of endometriosis.
4. Excessive bleeding during menses and irregular bleeding during the menstrual cycle may also indicate the onset of endometriosis.
5. One of the most harrowing symptoms is infertility. The blockages caused by the abnormal tissue growth do not let the sperm cells pass through thus leading to infertility.
6. Symptoms like fatigue, nausea, constipation, bloating and diarrhea, especially during menses, should not be ignored.

DIAGNOSIS

At Apollo Spectra, we understand the discomfort and pain associated with endometriosis and the endeavor is to correctly and rapidly diagnose it. Certain investigative tests are conducted for the same. The diagnostic process is usually as under:

• The doctor will ask you to describe your symptoms in details and in as much specification as possible.
• To check for physical evidence of endometriosis, the doctor conducts a pelvic exam where he checks for abnormalities like cysts within the region.
• Ultrasound imaging is another method for the doctors to identify cysts in the pelvic region. Transvaginal and over the abdomen – two views may be necessary for conclusive diagnosis.
• For an accurate diagnosis, a laparoscopy may be advised by your doctor. It allows for identifying the extent, the location and the severity of the condition.

TREATMENT FOR ENDOMETRIOSIS

Treating endometriosis is very important, especially if caught in the early onset. There are ways to get it treated which includes management of symptoms or medical intervention. The treatment options that we offer at Apollo Spectra are:

MEDICAL MANAGEMENT:

1. Pain medication is usually prescribed to help elevate the painful menstrual cramps. OTC pain relievers like NSAIDs, ibuprofen or naproxen are usually prescribed.
2. To slow down the thickening, break down and bleeding of the endometrium cells, hormone therapy may be effective as it slows down the process and prevents new tissues from growing.
3. Regular exercise is an important part of elevating the symptoms of this condition.
4. Certain at-home steps like eating well, being regular with your diet and sleep and using hot water and taking warm baths to elevate the pain are known to be effective in symptomatic relief.

SURGICAL MANAGEMENT:

1. Surgery to remove the endometriosis to whatever degree possible is one of the most common surgeries to deal with this especially if one is thinking of pregnancy. However, pain and endometriosis, both may return.
2. Assisted reproductive techniques like in-vitro fertilization may be more effective if one wishes to become pregnant.
3. Hysterectomy in severe cases of endometriosis is considered as a last resort. It does not prevent the endometrium calls preset on other organs from manifestation and hence is not a popular surgery especially during the reproductive years of a woman’s life.

Apollo Spectra has a team of physicians who are experts in the field of endometriosis. If you’re suffering from this reproductive disorder, then you have taken the right decision by choosing Apollo Spectra as we aim to provide women and adolescents with expert care and treatment. Our gynaecologists and physicians would perform all the required tests using our latest technology and then decide which option is the best for your case.
We also ensure that our patients get the best care, post their treatment or surgery, so that they can be back to their routine life.

FAQs

How does it feel to have endometriosis?

It is usually associated with pain in the lower region of the back, abdomen and pelvic area. It is a sharp, stabbing kind of pain or a constant gnawing and throbbing is also associated with it.

Can endometriosis damaged fallopian tubes?

In severe cases, where scar tissues and adhesions are formed due to constant irritation to the fallopian tubes may cause damage to the fallopian tubes.

Can you get pregnant if you have endometriosis?

It is impossible to give a standard answer to this question. About 60% of the women who suffer from endometriosis are fertile. Even with difficulties in getting pregnant, about half the women do go on to have a full-term pregnancy and have kids.

Can endometriosis cause you to gain weight?

Endometriosis is not associated with weight gain usually. It does cause bloating which may mimic weight gain.

Can endometriosis go away on its own?

With menopause and pregnancy, many causes of endometriosis do recede. About 1/3 of the cases which are mild in severity also resolve on their own.