Endometriosis is a disorder involving a tissue similar to the tissue lining the uterus growing outside the uterus. Endometriosis occurs in ovaries, fallopian tubes, pelvic tissue and seldom spreads beyond pelvic organs.
Endometrial-like tissue that is formed starts thickening, breaking down, and bleeds during the menstrual cycle, but this tissue has no scope of escaping your body. Hence, it remains entrapped. Endometriosis in ovaries leads to form cysts known as endometriomas. Tissues encompassing get irritated, forming scar tissues, adhesions, abnormal fibrous tissue bands, causing pelvic organs and tissue to adhere to each other. Endometriosis is painful during menstruation because of which fertility issues occur.
Request an Appointment at Smiles
What are the Causes of Endometriosis?
- ● Retrograde menstruation: During retrograde menstruation, the menstrual blood composed of endometrial cells flows back into the pelvic cavity through the fallopian tubes instead of flowing out of the body. The endometrial cells adhere to the pelvic organ surface with amplified growth, continuing thickening, and bleeds during the menstrual cycle.
- ● Peritoneal cell transformation: The “induction theory” proposes that when hormones or immune factors help cells lining the abdomen’s inner side to transform into endometrial-like cells causes Endometriosis.
- Embryonic cell transformation: Estrogen hormones transform the cells in the early stages of development (embryonic cells) into endometrial-like cell implants during puberty.
- ● Surgical scar implantation: Endometrial cells can attach to a surgical incision after surgeries like hysterectomy or C-section.
- Endometrial cell transplant: The lymphatic system or blood vessels can carry endometrial cells to other parts of the body.
- ● Immune system dysfunction: If there is a problem with your immune system functioning, your body cannot identify and destroy endometrial-like tissue that seems to grow outside the uterus.
What are the Symptoms of Endometriosis?
- ● Dysmenorrhea (painful periods): You may experience pelvic pain and cramping before starting your periods extending several days into the menstrual period. You also tend to have associated symptoms of lower back and abdominal pain.
- ● Dyspareunia (pain during sexual intercourse): You may experience pain during and after sex.
- ● Excessive bleeding: You experience heavy periods that are occasional and bleeding in between your periods.
- ● Other symptoms: Other symptoms may include bloating, fatigue, nausea, constipation, or diarrhea.
How is Endometriosis Diagnosed?
- ● Pelvic exam: During your pelvic exam, the physician palpates your pelvic area to look for abnormalities or any cysts on your reproductive organs or scars behind your uterus.
- ● Ultrasound: Ultrasound involves using high-frequency sound waves to get inside the body images. Though it cannot determine Endometriosis, it can identify the cysts from Endometriosis.
- ● MRI: MRI helps to detailed information of endometrial implants like size and location.
- ● Laparoscopy: Laparoscopy helps your physician examine your internal abdominal area and collect tissue samples. These tissue samples are tested, and endometriosis is confirmed.
How is Endometriosis Treated?
If surgery is warranted, it may include surgical removal of endometrial implants preserving ovaries and uterus if you prefer to get pregnant; if not, hysterectomy is performed.
What are the Risks Associated with Endometriosis treatments?
Request an Appointment at Smiles
Who is Likely to Contract Endometriosis?
What Increases My Chances of Endometriosis?
How Do you Decrease your Chances of Contracting Endometriosis?
- ● Regular exercise
- ● Maintaining a low body fat.
- ● Refraining alcohol and caffeinated drinks