Treat Endometriosis Before It Makes You Infertile!
Endometriosis is a medical condition, occurring in females which include the formation of the cells that build the lining of the uterus, outside the uterus and ultimately results in an abnormality in your health.
The tissues or cells that form in the other parts of the body other than the uterus are known as endometriosis implants. These implants are found mainly in the pelvic region, ovaries, fallopian tubes, outer surface of the uterus, on surfaces of the intestine, vagina, cervix, etc. The endometriosis implants are not cancerous and they are benign.
Endometriosis is found quite commonly in women within the age group 25-35 years. It is the main cause of pelvic pain and is often ignored because it doesn’t carry any specific symptom. Infertile woman generally have endometriosis. It is common in thin and tall woman with low body mass index. If you have a delayed pregnancy you may be affected with endometriosis.
What is the main reason behind its occurrence?
The actual cause of endometriosis is still unknown to the experts. But sometimes the doctors believe that during menstruation the endometrial cells may loosen up and they might flow back into the fallopian tubes and the pelvic area. When they reach there, they start multiplying and the cells grow in number and results in endometriosis. This process is generally referred to as retrograde menstruation. Though retrograde menstruation is common in many women it does not necessarily result in endometriosis each time in each case.
Endometriosis is hereditary and can pass down to your sister or daughter if you are suffering from it. Areas which line the pelvic organs can be of a primitive origin and these may form different kinds of tissue like the endometrial cells.
Endometriosis may also result during surgery which includes direct transfer of endometrial tissues by the doctor. It might form these endometrial implants. For example, in surgical scars, etc. Even with the help of blood stream endometrial cells may pass down to other distant parts like the brain and finally result in endometriosis.
Other causes may include the initiation of menstrual cycle at an early age, having long span of menstrual cycles like eight or more days. Frequency of menstrual cycle is also a factor responsible for the disease. If you have a closed hymen which blocks the passage through the vagina you may have such a disease.
What are its signs?
You may have no symptoms at all even if you are at a severe stage of endometriosis. Again, at an early stage you may suffer severe pain. The prime symptoms observed in endometriosis are, pain in the pelvic region and the lower abdominal areas. This cramp may be felt a few days before the menstrual cycle. You may have very painful menstrual cycles due to endometriosis.
Also during bowel movements you may suffer pain. During sexual intercourse some women suffering endometriosis gets severe pain. You may also have a low back cramp or pelvic cramp during cycles of menstruation. Particularly there is no such relationship between the pain and the stage of endometriosis. The intensity of the pain depends upon the accumulation of the endometrial implants in a particular part of the body. The implants produce certain substances which may flow in the blood causing pain.
The symptoms may worsen in some cases, but they may also be suppressed later without any specific treatment. The most important and vital symptom of endometriosis is infertility. A woman might come to know that she has endometriosis when she faces the problem in conceiving. Endometriosis also may give rise to constipation, diarrhea, and blood flow during urination.
How will the doctor detect it?
Pelvic examination is performed to diagnose the disease. You may be subjected to an ultrasound test for imaging inside the pelvic areas, to find out other problems of pelvis and endometriosis may be identified in this way. But an accurate test for endometriosis may be the proper examination by visually inspecting the pelvis, abdomen and also by tissue biopsy. Laparoscopy is a test used to identify or detect endometriosis. Generally in this test a small incision is done near the navel and the abdomen is inflated. A thin instrument named laparoscope is inserted in the inflated abdomen to carefully study the abdomen and the pelvic region. Endometrial implants are clearly visible in this test.
Treatment of endometriosis is done either by surgical means or by medication. It aims to relief the pain and tries to induce fertility in a woman.
Is there any medicine for curing this?
Anti-inflammatory drugs, such as, ibuprofen is used to decrease levels of prostaglandin, which is known to cause pain or cramps in your body. These help in reducing the immense pelvic pain and the cramps during menstruation.
Another drug named naproxen is also used in the treatment of endometriosis. Gonadotropin releasing hormone analogs are also used in the treatment as it helps in relieving pain and also lessen the number of endometrial implants. This reduces the estrogen level by inhibiting the hormone production from the pituitary gland. As a result menstrual cycle ceases for someday by giving a pseudo appearance of menopause.
Injection forms of GnRH are basically used. Progestin and oral contraceptive pills are also used in the treatment of endometriosis. Other drugs such as danazol and aromatase inhibitors such as anastrozole, letrozole are also used in the treatment.
Can surgery help?
In the treatment of endometriosis surgical methods are done by the medical practitioner only when the case is critical and cannot be treated through medications or any other way. Surgical treatment includes either the removal of the endometrial implants or by the removal of the organ carrying the endometrial implants. It may be conservative where the ovary and the uterus are conserved by the removal of the endometrial implants through laser treatment.
When an anatomic breakage or distortion of the pelvic organs takes place then laparotomy is performed. This includes incising your abdomen widely and then studying the entire abdominal area. In case of severe patients and one those who do not want to conceive, hysterectomy is done, which includes the removal of the uterus (with or without the ovary), and in some, fallopian tubes are also removed.
Endometriosis may also lead to cancer so you should pay heed to the gravity of this disease and get it checked by your doctor. The only prevention of endometriosis is the intake of birth control pills.