Endometriosis: What to know about the condition

 

How to Treat Endometriosis

What is Endometriosis?

Endometriosis (en-doe-me-tree-O-sis) is a painful disorder in which tissue similar to that which usually forms the lining inside your uterus (called the endometrium) grows outside the uterus. Endometriosis typically infects your fallopian tubes, ovaries as well as the tissue that forms your pelvis.

With endometriosis, the endometrial-like tissue equally thickens, breaks down and also bleeds during every menstrual cycle. However, since this tissue is unable to leave your body, it gets trapped. In cases involving endometriosis in the ovaries, it may form cysts called endometriomas and also irritate or inflame the surrounding tissue or cause it to swell and eventually develop scar tissue and abrasions.

Causes of Endometriosis and Risk Factors

Doctors have not yet exactly known why endometriosis occurs.

·        Certain experts think menstrual blood containing endometrial cells may flow back through your fallopian tubes and enter your pelvic cavity, where the cells stick to your organs. Such is known as retrograde menstruation.

·        Another risk factor is early menstruation, which occurs before the age of 11 years.

·        Heavy and prolonged menstruation may also play a role.

·        Endometriosis could also be hereditary. So, your family genes could play a role and according to research, it tends to worsen from one generation to generation.

·        Effects immune system disorders, which means your body doesn’t eliminate unwanted tissue.

·        High levels of the hormone estrogen in the body may also play a role

·        Abdominal area surgery, for example, cesarean delivery or hysterectomy

·        Alcohol and caffeine consumption

Experts have also linked the following health conditions with endometriosis:

·        Asthma

·        Allergies

·        Some autoimmune diseases

·        Sensitivity to certain chemicals

·        ovarian cancer & breast cancer

·        chronic fatigue syndrome

·        Exposure to certain chemicals, such as phthalates.

What is the Treatment for Endometriosis?

Currently, endometriosis has no cure but below are various treatment options that may help in managing the symptoms:

Pain Relief

You can get pain managing medications to relieve painful menstruation. Some of them include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB and others.

Consult a doctor for stronger drugs if prescribed over-the-counter options fail to help.

Hormonal Treatment

Your doctor may recommend that you take birth control pills or hormone-based methods of birth control. They include using the Mirena device or sometimes gonadotrophin-releasing hormone. They may help decrease estrogen levels, reducing unwanted tissue growth. But these methods can neither improve infertility nor repair lesions.

Surgery

If other treatments fail, your doctor may recommend tissue removal surgery. A hysterectomy involving the removal of both ovaries may be required.

Fertility Treatment

In a case in which endometriosis affects fertility, the most preferable option is in-vitro fertilization.

Natural Remedies for Endometriosis

Many women turn to complementary and alternative treatments as well as lifestyle choices to try to manage endometriosis symptoms. These home remedies include:

  • herbal medicine
  • acupuncture
  • hypnosis
  • avoiding caffeine
  • regular exercise, like walking
  • biofeedback
  • counseling

Though some women may find help in these methods, experts have only little scientific evidence to support their effectiveness.

Diagnosis

Note that medical diagnosis of endometriosis professionally is difficult. No lab or any other tests can confirm it. Besides, it may be hard to identify the symptoms as the symptoms are also similar to those of other conditions.

Here are a few possible diagnostic strategies doctors use:

  • a pelvic exam
  • laparoscopy
  • imaging tests, for example an ultrasound or MRI scan
  • a biopsy

Have you been diagnosed with endometriosis or you are only suspecting that you have the condition? Going for the diagnosis is your best health move right now.

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