What is Endometriosis?
An abnormal pregnancy is caused by endometriosis, a condition in which tissue similar to that lining your uterus grows outside of your uterine cavity. Described as the lining of your uterus, the endometrium is the term used to describe it.
Endometriosis is a condition in which endometrial-like tissue grows on your ovaries, bowel, and tissues lining your pelvis. It can be life-threatening. Only a tiny amount of endometrial tissue spreads outside the pelvic region in most women, but it is not impossible to experience. It is referred to as an endometrial implant when endometrial tissue begins to grow outside of your uterus.
The hormonal changes during your menstrual cycle affect the misplaced endometrial tissue, causing it to become inflamed and painful in the affected area. This means that the tissue will continue to grow, thicken, and degrade. It becomes trapped in your pelvis over time because the tissue that has been broken down has nowhere to go after it has broken down.
This tissue that has become trapped in your pelvis can cause the following symptoms:
- Feelings of irritation
- Formation of scars
- Adhesions bind together your pelvic organs.
- Severe menstrual pain
- Problems with fertility
Ten percent of all women are affected by this gynecological problem. If this is you, you are not alone.
Endometriosis signs and symptoms
Endometriosis manifests itself in a variety of ways. Symptoms can range from mild to moderate to severe in some women, but they can also be mild in others. The severity of your pain is not correlated with the severity or stage of your condition. Regardless of the severity of your disease, you may be experiencing excruciating pain. The symptoms of a severe form may be minimal while the patient experiences enormous discomfort.
Endometriosis is most commonly associated with pelvic pain, and symptoms affect women of all ages. You may also experience the following signs and symptoms:
- Painful periods
- During and before menstruation
- , lower abdomen pain occurs.
- Several weeks around menstruation
- , cramps
- Bleeding between periods or during a menstrual cycle
- Pain after sexual
- Bowel discomfort
- During your menstrual cycle
, you may experience lower back pain.
There may be no symptoms at all. Keep your gynecologist informed of any changes to your reproductive system by getting regular gynecological exams. This is especially important if you are experiencing two or more symptoms.
What Causes Endometriosis?
A regular menstrual cycle is when your body sheds the lining of your uterus, which is called ovulation. Menstrual blood can flow from your uterus to your vaginal opening through the small opening in your cervix
Endometriosis does not have a precise cause, but several hypotheses have been advanced to explain it, none of which have been scientifically proven. One of the most ancient theories holds that endometriosis develops due to a process known as retrograde menstruation. This occurs when menstrual blood returns to your body through your fallopian tubes and into your pelvic cavity instead of leaving your body through the vaginal opening.
Another theory holds that hormones cause the cells outside the uterus to transform into cells similar to those that line the inside of the uterus, known as endometrial cells, which are responsible for conception. According to some, it is also possible that the condition will develop if small areas of your abdomen transform into endometrial tissue. This could occur because the cells in your abdomen develop from embryonic cells, which can change shape and behave similarly to endometrial cells. It is currently unknown what causes this to occur.
Several areas in the pelvic cavity, including the surface of the bladder, ovary, and rectum, may have endometrial cells that have relocated from their standard location. They continue to grow, thicken and bleed throughout your menstrual cycle due to the hormones released during your period.
Another way that menstrual blood can leak into the pelvic cavity is through a surgical scar, such as one left after a cesarean section birthing procedure (also commonly called a C-section).
According to another theory, the endometrial cells are transported out of the uterus via the lymphatic system. Another theory proposes that it may be caused by a malfunctioning immune system that cannot eliminate errant endometrial cells.
According to some theories, the beginning of the condition is thought to occur during the fetal period, when cells are misplaced and begin to respond to the hormones of puberty. The Mullerian theory is the term used to describe this. Endometriosis may be caused by a combination of factors, including genetics and environmental toxins, and other factors.
Endometriosis stages are classified as follows:
Endometriosis can be classified into four stages or types. There are a variety of possibilities, including:
A variety of factors determines the stage of the disorder. There are many variables to consider before placing an endometrial implant – its location, number, size, depth, etc.
Stage 1: Minimal
Minimal endometriosis is characterized by the presence of small lesions or wounds on your ovary, as well as shallow endometrial implants. Also possible is inflammation within or surrounding your pelvic cavity.
Stage 2: Mild
Mild endometriosis is characterized by small lesions and shallow implants on the ovary and the pelvis lining.
Stage 3: Moderate
Moderate endometriosis is characterized by the presence of deep implants on the ovary and pelvic lining. There could also be additional lesions.
Stage 4: Severe
Deep implants characterize the most severe stage of endometriosis on the lining of your pelvis and your ovaries. Among other things, you may have lesions on your fallopian tubes and intestines.
In some cases, the signs and symptoms of endometriosis are similar to those of other conditions such as ovarian cysts and pelvic inflammatory disease (PIDA). To effectively treat your pain, an accurate diagnosis must first be made.
One or more of the following tests may be performed by your doctor, depending on your condition:
Your symptoms, as well as any personal or family history of endometriosis, will be noted by your doctor. Also performed may be a general health evaluation to determine whether or not there are any other signs of a long-term disorder present.
Your doctor will manually feel your abdomen for cysts or scars behind the uterus while performing a pelvic examination.
Your doctor may perform a transvaginal ultrasound or an abdominal ultrasound. A transvaginal ultrasound is performed by inserting a transducer into the vaginal canal. Ultrasounds of both types are used to produce images of your reproductive organs. They can aid your doctor in identifying cysts associated with endometriosis, but they are ineffective in excluding the disease from consideration.
Endometriosis can only be diagnosed by direct observation, which is the only surefire method. A laparoscopy is a minor surgical procedure that is used to accomplish this. Once the tissue has been identified, it can be removed during the same procedure.
Endometriosis is associated with a severe complication known as infertility. Those who have more mild forms of the disease may conceive and carry a child to term. According to the Mayo Clinic, approximately 30 – 40% of endometriosis women have difficulty conceiving their children.
Fertility is not improved by taking medications. After having their endometrial tissue surgically removed, some women have been successful in conceiving. If this does not work in your situation, you may want to consider fertility treatments or in vitro fertilization to help increase your chances of becoming pregnant in the future.
If you’ve been diagnosed with endometriosis and want to have children, you might want to think about starting a family sooner rather than later. Your symptoms may worsen over time, making it more difficult for you to conceive independently in the future. Pregnancy will necessitate an evaluation by your doctor both before and during the pregnancy. Consult with your doctor to learn about your treatment options.
If fertility is not a concern, dealing with chronic pain can be a frustrating experience. Depression, anxiety, and other mental illnesses are not uncommon among college students. Inquire with your doctor about the best way to cope with these side effects. Participating in a support group may also be beneficial.
Endometriosis is a chronic condition for which there is currently no cure. We haven’t figured out what’s causing it yet. However, this does not imply that the condition must interfere with your daily activities. Treatments for pain and fertility issues are available, including medications, hormone therapy, and surgery, to help patients manage their symptoms. The symptoms of endometriosis usually subside after the menopausal transition is completed.