A common condition, endometriosis is a painful condition that can impact your everyday life. When you have endometriosis, tissue similar to the lining of the uterus grows in other places within your abdomen and pelvic area. Endometriosis can cause painful and heavy periods, as well as fertility issues.
Endometriosis occurs when endometrial-like tissue grows on your ovaries, bowel, and tissues lining your pelvis. It’s rare for endometrial-like tissue to spread beyond your pelvic region, but it’s not impossible. Endometrial-like tissue growing outside of your uterus is known as an endometrial implant.
The hormonal changes of your menstrual cycle affect the misplaced endometrial-like tissue, causing the area to become inflamed and painful. This means the tissue will grow, thicken, and break down. Over time, the tissue that has broken down has nowhere to go and becomes trapped in your pelvis.
A few places you can develop endometriosis include the:
Outside and back of your uterus.
Peritoneum (the lining of your abdomen and pelvis).
Bladder and ureters.
Diaphragm (a muscle near the bottom of your chest that plays an important role in breathing).
Some people experience mild symptoms, but others can have moderate to severe symptoms. The severity of your pain does not indicate the degree or stage of the condition. You may have a mild form of the disease yet experience agonizing pain. It’s also possible to have a severe form and have very little discomfort.
It’s important to note that you may not experience any symptoms.
Pelvic pain is the most common symptom of endometriosis. You may also have the following
-painful cramping, similar to menstrual cramps
-long-term lower back and pelvic pain
-periods lasting longer than 7 days
-heavy menstrual bleeding
-bowel and urinary problems, including pain, diarrhea, constipation, and bloating
blood in the stool or urine
-nausea and vomiting
-pain during sex
-spotting or bleeding between periods
-difficulty becoming pregnant
It’s important that you get regular gynecological exams, which will allow your gynecologist to monitor any changes. This is particularly important if you have two or more symptoms.
Different factors determine the stage of the disorder. These factors can include the location, number, size, and depth of endometrial implants.
Stage 1: Minimal
In minimal endometriosis, there are small lesions or wounds and shallow endometrial implants on your ovaries. There may also be inflammation in or around your pelvic cavity.
Stage 2: Mild
Mild endometriosis involves light lesions and shallow implants on the ovaries and the pelvic lining.
Stage 3: Moderate
Moderate endometriosis involves many deep implants on your ovaries and pelvic lining. There can also be more lesions.
Stage 4: Severe
The most severe stage of endometriosis.
Who can get endometriosis?
Endometriosis is a condition that most commonly impacts people between the ages of 25 and 40. It can also happen to younger people during their teenage years. Although many people find relief from endometriosis symptoms after menopause, it can still cause discomfort and pain.
risk factors for endometriosis:
There are some factors that can place you at a higher risk of developing endometriosis. These factors can include:
Family history of endometriosis.
The age you first start having periods. People who begin menstruating before age 11 may be at a higher risk.
The length of your menstrual cycle (shorter time between periods) and the duration of flow (how many days of bleeding).
Defects in your uterus or fallopian tubes.
treatment for endometriosis:
Your healthcare provider will help create your treatment plan for endometriosis based on a few factors, including:
-The severity of your endometriosis.
-Your plans for future pregnancies.
-The severity of your symptoms (often pain).
In many cases, your treatment plan will focus primarily on managing your pain and improving fertility issues (if you are planning on a future pregnancy). This can be done through medications and surgery.
Medications are often used to help control the symptoms of endometriosis. These can include pain medications and hormone therapies.
There is currently no cure for endometriosis, but various treatment options may help manage symptoms. They include:
Medications can help manage pain. They include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) and drugs to relieve painful menstruation.
If over-the-counter options do not help, a doctor may prescribe stronger drugs.
A doctor may recommend birth control pills or other hormonal methods of birth control, such as the Mirena device. In some cases, they may recommend gonadotrophin-releasing hormone.
Hormonal options for suppressing endometriosis can include:
Birth control: There are multiple forms of hormonal suppression options including combination options using estrogen and progesterone or progesterone-only options. These come in multiple forms including oral birth control pills, patch, vaginal ring, birth control shot, Nexplanon implant or IUD. This hormonal treatment often helps people have lighter, less painful periods. These are not options for patients attempting pregnancy.
Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) medications: This medication is actually used to stop the hormones that cause your menstrual cycle. This basically puts your reproductive system on hold as a way to relieve your pain. GnRH medications can be taken as an oral pill (by mouth), a shot or a nasal spray.
Danazol (Danocrine): This is another form of hormonal medication that stops the production of the hormones that cause you to have a period. While taking this medication for endometriosis symptoms, you may have the occasional menstrual period, or they might stop entirely.
These may reduce estrogen levels and help limit the development of unwanted tissue. However, they cannot repair adhesions or improve fertility.
If other treatments do not work, a doctor may recommend surgery to remove unwanted tissue. In some cases, a hysterectomy with removal of both ovaries may be necessary.
Surgical options to treat endometriosis include:
Laparoscopy: In this procedure, your surgeon will make a very small cut in your abdomen (< 1 centimeter) and insert a thin tube-like tool called a laparoscope into your body. This tool can be used to see inside your body and identify endometriosis with a high-definition camera. Additional 5-millimeter instruments can then be used to excise and remove lesions.
Hysterectomy: In severe cases, your surgeon may suggest removing your uterus based on the amount of endometriosis and scar tissue present, if you have other uterine conditions like adenomyosis and your desire for future fertility. If you have a hysterectomy, areas of endometriosis should still be excised to optimize your pain relief.
If you have endometriosis and are trying to achieve pregnancy,
in vitro fertilization (IVF) may help you achieve this goal. Natural remedies:
Some complementary and alternative treatments and lifestyle choices may help manage endometriosis symptoms. They includeTrusted Source:
regular exercise, such as walking
Some people may find these methods help, but there is little scientific evidence to show that they are effective. They will not cure endometriosis or reverse any damage that has occurred
Endometriosis can significantly affect a person’s quality of life. In addition to the pain, they may experience pressures Trusted Source relating to:
the cost of medical care
difficulty maintaining a social life
concerns about not being able to become pregnant
stress, anxiety, and depression.
The EMPWellness team can provide you with the best advice and treatment by introducing specialist doctors.