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Understanding Endometriosis

Womens Health > Understanding Endometriosis

Endometriosis is a condition in which the tissue present in the lining of uterus grows outside the uterus and stick to other organs like ovaries and fallopian tubes in the abdominal cavity.

Endometriosis becomes a pathological condition when the endometrial tissue growing outside uterus, reacts to the menstrual cycle hormones in the manner identical to which the tissues inside the uterus react. It grows, and then sheds. However, since the blood shed from endometrial tissues outside the uterus has nowhere to escape; it evokes inflammatory reaction leading to formation of scar tissue. Such a tissue, if formed in fallopian tubes, can obstruct them and if formed in ovaries, can hinder ovulation.

Endometriosis is a progressive disease, becoming worse with time. The main symptoms comprise painful sex, heavy and painful periods, spotting or bleeding between periods, intestinal pain, and infertility.

The exact cause of endometriosis is unknown. One theory indicates endometriosis to be a birth abnormality in which the uterine tissues escaped from uterus during prenatal (before birth) development. Some specialists believe that endometriosis occurs due to escape of menstrual tissue through the fallopian tubes during menstruation.

Endometriosis occurs only in women in childbearing years. It probably requires a high estrogen environment so during before puberty, following menopause or after surgical removal of ovaries, there is no occurrence of this disorder.

Surgical procedure called Laparoscopy is the only way to diagnose endometriosis accurately. Some specialists do use ultrasound and MRI to diagnose this disease, but both the methods have their own shortcomings. In laparoscopic procedure, a tube called laparoscope is inserted the abdominal wall to ‘see’ the inside of the abdomen.

Following laparoscopy, your doctor will place you in one of these categories: stage 1 (minimal), stage 2 (mild), stage 3 (moderate) or stage 4 (extensive) depending on the extent of scarring and unhealthy tissue found. He will then prescribe you the treatment, which might comprise medication, surgery, or two of them together, depending on your stage of illness.

Womens Health > Understanding Endometriosis