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Do you know what Endometriosis is?can it be treated?

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Endometriosis Definition

Endometriosis is a common gynecological condition affecting an estimated 2 to 10 percent of women of childbearing age. The name of this condition comes from the word “endometrium,” which is the tissue that lines the uterus.

During a woman’s regular menstrual cycle, this tissue builds up and is shed if she does not become pregnant. Women with it  develop tissue that looks and acts like endometrial tissue outside of the uterus, usually on other reproductive organs inside the pelvis or in the abdominal cavity. Each month, this misplaced tissue responds to the hormonal changes of the menstrual cycle by building up and breaking down just as the endometrium does, resulting in small bleeding inside of the pelvis. This leads to inflammation, swelling and scarring of the normal tissue surrounding the endometriosis implants.The ASRM classification system is divided into four stages or grades according to the number of lesions and depth of infiltration: minimal (Stage I), mild (Stage II), moderate (Stage III) and severe (Stage IV).

Causes of Endometriosis

The causes  are still unknown. One theory suggests that during menstruation, some of the tissue backs up through the fallopian tubes into the abdomen, a sort of “reverse menstruation,” where it attaches and grows. Another theory suggests that endometrial tissue may travel and implant via blood or lymphatic channels, similar to the way cancer cells spread. A third theory suggests that cells in any location may transform into endometrial cells.

Endometriosis can also occur as a result of direct transplantation—in the abdominal wall after a cesarean section, for example. Additionally, it appears that certain families may have predisposing genetic factors to the disease.

 

Where Endometriosis Can Occur

The most common sites of endometriosis include:

  • The ovaries
  • The fallopian tubes
  • Ligaments that support the uterus (uterosacral ligaments)
  • The posterior cul-de-sac, i.e., the space between the uterus and rectum
  • The anterior cul-de-sac, i.e., the space between the uterus and bladder
  • The outer surface of the uterus
  • The lining of the pelvic cavity.

    How is endometriosis treated?

    Endometriosis is very unlikely to go away on its own. Surgery can be used to remove or destroy the endometriosis. The most common surgery approach is laparoscopy (key-hole surgery). Cysts of endometriosis on the ovaries (endometriomas), are unlikely to disappear on their own and generally cannot be treated with medicine.Thankfully, treatment can radically reduce symptoms for many patients. We typically start with medications, such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen, or birth control pills that control hormonal fluctuations in the body. However, most patients don’t find enough relief with medication alone and eventually opt for minimally invasive surgery to remove the endometriosis. This procedure is performed through incisions in the belly that are less than an inch in length.

    It’s important to seek treatment for endometriosis as soon as you notice symptoms. That way, we can work to control the endometriosis before it can spread to other organs in the pelvis and abdomen.

  • How painful is endometriosis?

    It can feel sharp and stabbing, and medication usually won’t help. Some women say it feels like their insides are being pulled down. They have a gnawing or throbbing feeling that can be severe.

     

    Can I get pregnant with endometriosis?

    Getting pregnant with it is very possible for most women. While it may make it harder to conceive on your own, your chances of getting pregnant with endometriosis can be high, depending on the severity of your condition, age, overall health, and treatment options.

    What is recovery like after endometriosis surgery?

    Patients usually feel substantial symptom relief within six months after surgery. During the first six to eight weeks, patients might be sore from the procedure. Then, the  pain starts to dwindle. The severity of pain during recovery varies from patient to patient.

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