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Endometriosis

Endometriosis is a condition in which the tissue that normally lines the uterus (endometrium) grows in other areas of the body causing pain irregular bleeding, and possible infertility . Endometrial cells are the same cells that are shed each month during menstruation. Normally, every month when you have your period, the lining (which is also called endometrial tissue) comes out in your menstrual flow. However, if you have endometriosis, tissue from the lining of the uterus moves through the fallopian tubes and gets on your ovaries, in your pelvis, on your bladder or in other areas. During your menstrual cycle, hormones signal the lining of your uterus to thicken to prepare for possible pregnancy. If a pregnancy doesn't occur, hormone levels decrease, causing the thickened lining of your uterus to shed. Because there's nowhere for the blood from this displaced tissue to exit your body, it becomes trapped, and surrounding tissue can become irritated. Menstrual blood flows from the uterus and out of the body through the vagina, but the blood and tissue shed from endometrial growths has no way of leaving the body. This results in internal bleeding, breakdown of the blood and tissue from the lesions, and inflammation and can cause pain, infertility, scar tissue formation, adhesions, and bowel problems.

Endometriosis is an often painful disorder of the female reproductive system. Endometriosis is estimated to affect over 1 million women (estimates range from 3% to 18% of women) in the United States. With endometriosis, tissue like that which lines the uterus is found outside the womb in other areas of the body. Symptoms include painful menstrual periods, abnormal menstrual bleeding and pain during or after sexual intercourse. When endometrial tissue is located elsewhere in your body it continues to act in its normal way: It thickens, breaks down and bleeds each month as your hormone levels rise and fall. Endometriosis rarely grows in the lungs or other parts of the body. This "misplaced" tissue can cause pain, infertility (not being able to get pregnant), and very heavy periods. Endometriosis isn't the only cause of pelvic pain. If you're experiencing pelvic pain, see your doctor to determine whether endometriosis or another condition is the cause, and to target appropriate treatment.

Causes of Endometriosis

The common Causes of Endometriosis :

  • Menstrual tissue backing up through the fallopian tubes and spilling into the abdomen
  • Certain cells in the abdomen transforming into endometrial tissue
  • Remnant mullerian cells induced by estrogen
  • The lymph system carrying endometrial cells from the uterus
  • When discussing the causes of endometriosis, it is important to first understand the regular menstrual cycle and how hormones in your body affect the menstrual cycle and the uterus itself.
  • The immune system allowing the tissue to implant and develop into endometriosis
  • Endometrial cells may be deposited outside the uterus before birth.
  • Endometrial cells may be carried to other locations in the body by the blood or lymph fluid circulation.

Symptoms of Endometriosis

Some Symptoms of Endometriosis :

  • Pain with bowel movements
  • Lower abdominal pain or pelvic cramps that can by felt for a week or two before menstruation
  • Premenstrual spotting
  • Increasingly painful periods
  • Pain during or following sexual intercourse
  • Pelvic or low back pain that may occur at any time during the menstrual cycle
  • Infertility

Treatment of Endometriosis

  • Once a diagnosis of endometriosis has been made, you and your health care provider will discuss treatment options.
  • This injectable drug is effective in halting menstruation and the growth of endometrial implants, thereby relieving the signs and symptoms of endometriosis. Its side effects can include weight gain and depressed mood.
  • Is a synthetic hormone that causes the endometriosis to become inactive and waste away. Side effects of gestrinone include weight gain, acne, depression, mood swings, hot flushes and loss of libido (sex drive).
  • Another synthesised version of the hormone progesterone. Most women taking Medroxyprogesterone acetate will stop ovulating and menstruating. Other side effects include weight gain, bloating, irregular vaginal bleeding, depression, sweating, headaches, acne, nausea, fatigue and tender breasts.
  • Medical treatment can relieve symptoms, but the recurrence rate is high after cessation of medications.
  • A slender tube is inserted into the abdominal cavity via a small incision. Endometrial implants, cysts and adhesions are then removed by either cutting or cauterising them. Some doctors can perform surgery, including the removal of the ovaries or removal of endometriosis from the bowel, laparoscopically.
  • The Pill is frequently used to achieve long term suppression of endometriosis. It can be used to stop the disease progressing in women with mild disease or to stop the disease from recurring following surgical or hormonal treatment.

 


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