Endometriosis is a gynaecological disorder where tissues similar to that of the uterine lining grow in other parts of the body. When this tissue spreads to inappropriate areas, you can face uncomfortable symptoms that can hamper your everyday life. They can also lead to superficial lesions, ovarian cysts, scar tissue, deeper nodules, and adhesions within the body.
Some body parts where endometriosis occurs include fallopian tubes, back and outside of the uterus, ovaries, vagina, bladder and ureters, peritoneum, rectum, intestines, and the diaphragm.
Endometriosis is a relatively common gynaecological condition that tends to negatively impact the life of the affected person. It can result in long-term pain, fertility issues, and a disturbed menstrual cycle. The symptoms of endometriosis can often be managed with proper treatment and care.
Endometriosis commonly affects women between the age of 25 and 40 years. It can also happen to younger females during their teenage years. Although many females manage to get relief from endometriosis symptoms after their menopause, it can still cause discomfort and pain.
Certain risk factors can increase your susceptibility of developing the disease. Following are some of those:
The exact cause that leads to developing endometriosis is unknown. When someone has the condition, the uterine tissue starts appearing in the wrong place. When it spreads to areas beyond the ovaries, uterine cavity, fallopian tubes, intestines, or within the pelvic cavity, it can lead to development of painful symptoms. This pain is associated with increased inflammation and often fibrosis and adhesions.
When the tissue resembling the lining of the uterus starts growing outside the uterus, it results in the formation of adhesions or scar tissue. These scar tissue sections can result in the fusion of the organs and create abnormal connections between them. All this causes discomfort and pain. Following are the main causes that lead to the development of endometriosis:
Pelvic pain with menstrual periods is the primary symptom of endometriosis. Although a lot of women face cramping pain during their menstrual periods, endometriosis menstrual pain is typically far worse than usual. Pain also tends to escalate over time. Following are the common signs and symptoms of endometriosis:
Sometimes, endometriosis is mistaken for other conditions causing pelvic pain like ovarian cysts or pelvic inflammatory disease. It may be mistaken for irritable bowel syndrome— a condition causing bouts of constipation, diarrhoea, and abdominal cramping. IBS can be associated with endometriosis, which sometimes complicates the diagnosis.
Many endometriosis cases are diagnosed based on the symptoms. Painful, heavy menstrual periods cause many patients to seek help from their healthcare providers. The doctor usually starts asking about the history of previous pregnancies, medical and personal history, history of previous pregnancies and family history of endometriosis during the appointment. You may also be asked to go for a pelvic examination. If he feels like more information is needed, he will most likely perform pelvic imaging starting with an ultrasound.
Depending on your symptoms, ultrasound reports, and physical examination, your doctor may order you to do an MRI for further endometriosis mapping. A laparoscopy may be performed both for definitive diagnosis and treatment. It can serve as a useful way of confirming endometriosis as the surgeon uses a small camera known as a laparoscope during the procedure to remove a small sample of the suspected area’s tissue, which is then sent to a laboratory for further assessment.
At certain times, endometriosis is diagnosed coincidentally. Every endometriosis patient does not experience symptoms. In these conditions, the disease may be discovered during a different procedure.
After carefully assessing your condition, your doctor will design a treatment plan for your condition based on a few factors, such as the plan for future pregnancies severity of the endometriosis, the plan for future pregnancies, the severity of your symptoms, and your age. The main focus of your treatment plan will be to manage your pain and improve your fertility problems. This can be achieved through medications and surgery.
Endometriosis is a chronic disease, and even though many patients experience relief from their symptoms after surgery, those can recur after a few years. The severity of your condition is a deciding factor in determining how quickly it comes back after surgery. Sometimes, surgery is combined with medications to ensure an optimum outcome. Sometimes, pelvic floor exercises are also recommended to relieve central nerve pain.
Over a period of time, the endometrial-like tissue growing outside the uterus can develop cysts, scar tissue, and adhesions. This can result in long-term pain, especially during menstrual periods. Many endometriosis patients may also face difficulties getting pregnant. This issue can sometimes be resolved with treatment.
Here are some complications of this condition:
If you notice any of the above-mentioned symptoms of endometriosis, you must talk to an expert. If you are located in Indore, you can visit the Endometriosis Clinic at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital, Indore and book an appointment with an expert doctor who will guide you to the next step. Even if your pain is mild to moderate, you might still have the condition. Your condition’s severity of the problem is not decided by the intensity of your pain. Consult the best endometriosis specialists in Indore for further care.