Endometriosis is the medical condition in which the inner lining of the uterus (Endometrium), grows outside the uterine cavity. As the inner lining (Endometrium) of the uterus is sensitive to the hormones, the tissue lying outside the uterine cavity is also sensitive to hormones. It was first reported in 1860 by Rokitonsky. It affects women who are in their childbearing age (20 years-40years).
Areas of endometrial tissue found in places other than uterus are called endometrial implants. The common sites are found on the ovaries, fallopian tubes, the surface of the uterus, the bowel, and on the membrane lining of the pelvic cavity (i.e. the peritoneum).
They are rarely found to involve the vagina, cervix, bladder and outside pelvis. Endometriosis has been reported in the liver, brain, lung, and old surgical scars.
The endometrial lining gets exit from the body through menstrual cycle. But the endometrial tissue deposited outside the uterine cavity doesn’t have exit, so it becomes inflamed and irritable before periods. Sometimes it causes formation of fibrous bands and adhesions to pelvic organs.
The exact cause of the endometriosis is unknown. There are different theories behind the endometriosis.
- It is believed that the excess production of estrogen during childbearing age may lead to this condition.
- The risk factor is having family history of endometriosis
- Retrograde menstruation
- Transformation of peritoneal cells
- Embryonic cell transformation
- Surgical scar implantation
- Endometrial cells transport
- Immune system disorder
Approximately 6-10% of the women are affected by endometriosis.
The symptoms of endometriosis are
- Painful menstruation: most common symptom
- Painful intercourse
- Painful bowel movements or urination
- Some women may experience heavy bleeding during their periods, or unusual bleeding, bleeding after sex, or presence of blood clot in their urine or stool
- Others symptoms maybe fatigue, diarrhea, constipation, bloating, nausea particularly during menstrual cycle
The risk factors:
- Nulliparous (not given birth to babies)
- Early menarche
- Late age at menopause
- Higher levels of estrogens
- Family history
- Low BMI
- Alcohol consumption
- Uterine deformities
Complications of Endometriosis
- Infertility- It is the most common complication
- Rarely ovarian cancer
If severe pains during periods along with other unusual symptoms are there then it is necessary to consult your Gynecologist.
The symptoms, signs, pelvic examinations and laparoscopy are helpful in diagnosing the condition.
The treatment depends upon the severity and condition of the patient.
To relieve the pain, we give the pain killers (non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs). In some cases, birth control pills are helpful to relieve the symptoms. But prior to any treatment, the consultation of the doctor is the prime step.
The different pain coping techniques-
- Warm compression with help of hot water bag or heating pad
- Regular exercise to strengthen the muscles and release of pain relieving hormones
- Different herbal remedies under expert guidance
- Massage of the lower abdomen
A proper medical diagnosis and care helps to get the better results in this condition.