Endometriosis is a disorder in which tissue which normally lines the inside of your uterus called “the endometrium” tends to grows outside your uterus.
Endometriosis most commonly involves ovaries, fallopian tubes and the tissue lining the pelvis. Rarely, endometrial tissue may spread beyond pelvic organs.
The main cause of symptoms in case of endometriosis is that this displaced endometrial tissue continues to act as it normally would act inside the uterus. It thickens, breaks down and bleeds with each menstrual cycle. Since this displaced tissue has no way to exit the body, it becomes trapped. This trapped tissue tends to irritate the surrounding tissue which eventually causes scarring and adhesions of the tissues that can cause pelvic tissues and organs to stick to each other.
The symptoms of endometriosis vary. Some women experience mild symptoms while others can have moderate to severe symptoms. The most commonly experienced symptoms are-
- Painful periods (dysmenorrhea)- with cramps before and during periods.
- Pain with intercourse-Pain during or after sex is commonly felt by women with endometriosis.
- Pain with bowel movements or urination- most likely seen during periods
- Excessive bleeding
- Infertility-Endometriosis is first diagnosed usually in infertile women who are seeking treatment for infertility.
- lower back pain that may occur at any time during your menstrual cycle
- Other commonly seen symptoms-fatigue, diarrhoea, constipation, bloating or nausea, especially during menstrual periods
In order to diagnose endometriosis, your gynaecologist may take a detailed medical history, perform a pelvic examination for you and in order to confirm the diagnosis, the following tests may be needed Ultrasound ,MRI , Laparoscopy.
The treatment is different for each woman and is mostly decided by the doctor based on the severity of the symptoms.
Both medical and surgical options are available.
Conservative treatment approach is advised first and if the treatment fails or does not provide the desired results, surgery can be opted for.
Tips to deal with the symptoms of endometriosis
- Take omega-3 fatty acids as they are known to act as natural anti-inflammatory agents and can help in dealing with pain and cramps associated with endometriosis.
- Avoid trans-fats and red meat
- Increase intake of fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Work out regularly- as it promoted blood circulation and helps in reducing stress.
- Limit caffeine and Alcohol .
It is best to have a consultation with your gynaecologist if you face any of the above symptoms.
Dr. Afroze Fatima