What Is Endometriosis?

Q:
What is endometriosis?

A:
Normally, the intimal cells grow in the endometrium, while it grows outside the uterus, endometriosis is formed. It is a common gynecopathia which can affect people’s psychology.

It most occurs in the ovaries, Fallopian tubes, and tissue around the uterus and ovaries, however, it may occur in other parts of the body in rare cases.

Its cause is not entirely clear currently.

Endometriosis is unrelated to endometrial cancer. However, in fact, there does have a connection between endometriosis and certain types of cancers, especially some types of ovarian cancer, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and brain cancer.

Symptoms

The common symptoms of endometriosis are pain and infertility, although 20-25% of women are asymptomatic.

Other symptoms include:

  • diarrhea or constipation
  • chronic fatigue
  • nausea and vomiting
  • headaches
  • low-grade fevers
  • hypoglycemia

Types of endometriosis-related pain may include:

  • dysmenorrhea – painful, sometimes disabling cramps during the menstrual period; pain may get worse over time (progressive pain), also lower back pains linked to the pelvis
  • chronic pelvic pain – typically accompanied by lower back pain or abdominal pain
  • dyspareunia – painful sex
  • dysuria – urinary urgency, frequency, and sometimes painful voiding
  • mittelschmerz – pain associated with ovulation
  • bodily movement pain – present during exercise, standing, or walking

Treatments

Tentative evidence suggests that the use of combined oral contraceptives reduces the risk of endometriosis. Using an intrauterine device with progestogen may also be useful. Surgical removal of endometriosis may be used to treat those whose symptoms are not manageable with other treatments.

Though there is no cure for endometriosis, there are two types of interventions:

  • treatment of pain
  • treatment of endometriosis-associated infertility

Treatments for women at different age:

  • In women at the reproductive ages, treatments are mainly for relieving pain, controlling the condition and restoring or preserving fertility where needed.
  • In younger women, usually choose surgery to remove endometrial tissue and preserve the ovaries without damaging normal tissue.

Consult your doctor for more details before you take any treatments.

Keyword: endometriosis.