The uterus is lined by a tissue called the endometrium. This lining is inside the uterus normally. But in some women, it grows outside the uterus too. In such cases, it grows on the ovaries, fallopian tubes, intestines, rectum or the bladder. This is known as endometriosis. This condition is one of the major reasons affecting women’s health.
During the menstrual cycle, the endometrium inside the uterus is expelled out of the vagina but the one outside cannot be expelled. This leads to the formation of cysts, scar tissue and lesions. Some women with endometriosis suffer no pain but others suffer great pain before and during menstruation.
Health care professionals are divided on the opinion as to why endometriosis occurs. There are a number of theories explaining the growth of the endometrial tissue. But the symptoms of endometriosis are more or less the same in all women. The severity differs depending on the location of the endometriosis, how deep it is attached, and how long a woman is suffering from it. Symptoms range from very painful periods, pain during copulation and ovulation, chronic pelvic pain, heavy menstrual flow, painful bowel movements, exhaustion and painful and frequent urination during menstruation.
Medical professionals check the pelvis for cysts, thickening or tenderness. This test is done during menstruation. The pelvis can also be checked with the help of an ultrasound scan.
But for a firm diagnosis of endometriosis, you will need to get a laparoscopy done. This too has to be done during menstruation. The doctor administers a general anesthetic and then makes a small cut near the navel and inserts a laparoscope inside it. The abdomen is then filled with carbon dioxide so that he has greater visibility and can check the organs, the location, number and the size of the endometrial growths. Sometimes a biopsy is also done. A laparoscopy is a must since otherwise the treatment for endometriosis cannot begin.
One of the difficulties of falling inside the endometriosis zone is having fertility problem. It can damage the ovaries and block the fallopian tubes and thus create difficulty in conceiving. But there are still chances that you can conceive naturally if you consult the doctor sooner.
Health care in a woman affected by endometriosis is taken by surgery and drug therapy. Which treatment the doctor gives you depends on the location and size of endometrial growths, the severity of symptoms, your age and if you are trying to conceive.
If you want to become pregnant, the doctor first assesses the damage to the ovaries and the fallopian tubes by doing a laparoscopy. An ultrasound scan may also be done. If the severity is mild, doctors won’t give any treatment initially and see whether you conceive naturally. During the laparoscopy, the doctor can also perform a surgery to remove the endometrial growths. Tubal flushing is used in case the fallopian tubes are blocked.
Since severe pain during endometriosis is common, medical professionals suggest the following methods to ease pain. When you experience pain, rest in a position that is comfortable. Always take warm baths and place hot water bottles or pads on the abdomen. Increase the intake of fiber in your diet. Practice yoga, deep breathing too. Ask the doctor for pain killers.
Remember, endometriosis cannot be cured or prevented completely but you can definitely control it if you take help from doctors at the right time.