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A Guide to Endometriosis: Do you Know its Symptoms, Causes and Risk Factors?

B
Bajaj Finserv Health
March 11th, 2022
10 mins read

Key Takeaways

  • Excessive bleeding during periods is one of endometriosis symptoms
  • Endometriosis complications include infertility and bladder problems
  • Age and family history are endometriosis risk factors you should know

Endometrium is a tissue lining the uterus of a woman. Endometriosis is a condition in which a tissue like endometrium starts to grow outside the uterus. During menstrual cycle, this tissue acts like normal uterus tissue, and breaks apart resulting in bleeding. Since there is no outlet for this blood to flow, area surrounding this tissue becomes swollen. This inflammation can cause lesions and scars.  

Based on its location, endometriosis has three different types: 

  • Endometrioma in the ovaries (the most common type) 
  • Superficial peritoneal lesion (endometriosis in your pelvic cavity) 
  • Deeply infiltrating endometriosis (involving organs near uterus) 

This condition affects approximately 10% of women in the reproductive age [1]. It can even cause infertility issues. There is a need for increased awareness of this condition to make early diagnosis and treatment possible. Though it is not threatening like uterine cancer or nasopharyngeal cancer, timely evaluation of this condition is vital. Read on to get a proper insight on endometriosis symptoms, diagnosis and treatment. 

Additional Read: How Women Over 30 Can Address Their Health Proactively 

Endometriosis Treatment

Endometriosis symptoms 

The main symptom of this condition is acute pain in your pelvic regions during menstrual cycle. Though cramps are normal during periods, you may experience severe pain if you have endometriosis. Note that the severity of this condition cannot be measured by the intensity of your pain. Few other common symptoms include: 

  • Excessive bleeding 
  • Pain during intercourse 
  • Stomach bloating 
  • Pain during urination and bowel movements
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Severe back pain
  • Presence of blood in urine or stool 

Endometriosis complications

Endometriosis risk factors 

This condition is common during the reproductive age of women. However, the early symptoms may start showing during puberty [2]. If you have a family member with this condition, you are at a higher risk to acquire it. In case you have not conceived, you may develop it. However, this condition is common in women who has given birth as well. Some more risk factors include: 

  • Getting cycles at a very young age
  • Short duration of the cycle
  • Heavy bleeding and longer periods
  • Intercourse during menstruation
  • Alcohol intak
  • Low body weight
  • Infertility 

Endometriosis causes 

The exact reason for this condition remains unknown. However, a number of experts believes that a few endometrium pieces return back to fallopian tubes and reach the pelvic cavity. This cavity is the space inside your pelvis wherein your reproductive organs are held. These tissue pieces may deposit themselves on the surface of your reproductive organs. They break apart during your periods, similar to the endometrium in your uterus. This can cause inflammation of adjacent tissues, which may form cysts and scars. 

Endometriosis diagnosis 

Endometriosis diagnosis 

After analyzing your symptoms, your doctor may ask you to undergo the following tests for physical examination. 

1. Pelvic examination 

It is a technique in which your doctor checks for any abnormalities like cysts or scars behind the uterus manually.  

2. Ultrasound tests 

This technique involves sound waves of high frequency to produce images of your internal organs. An ultrasound device may be placed on your abdomen or in your vagina to get a clear image of your reproductive organs.  

3. MRI scan 

This method uses both radio waves and magnetic field to form detailed images of different tissues and organs inside your body. Just like radiotherapy for cancer treatment uses radio waves to destroy cancerous cells, this scan helps determine presence of cysts in your reproductive organs. 

4. Laparoscopy 

To get a detailed view, you may have to undergo this procedure. Your surgeon makes a small incision near navel through which laparoscope is inserted. This helps locate endometrial tissue present outside the uterus. 

Additional Read: Radiotherapy for Cancer: A Complete Guide 

Endometriosis treatment 

Treatment for this condition is possible either with surgery or medications. You may be asked to take some anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce your swelling and to ease your menstrual pain. In case you are trying to get pregnant, you may be put on hormone therapy along with pain relievers.  

Though hormone therapy is not a permanent solution for this condition, it may reduce the growth of endometrial tissues. Since this condition can cause fertility issues, you may have to undergo treatment for the same. In extreme cases, uterus removal may be done for those who do not want to conceive.  

It is important to find a doctor with whom you are comfortable for treating endometriosis. Before you start any treatment plan, always get a second opinion. Having an accurate diagnosis does play a crucial role in managing this condition. Connect to renowned gynecologists on Bajaj Finserv Health to address the symptoms. Book teleconsultation and clear your concerns from the comfort of your home. Be proactive and take steps to maintain a good reproductive health.

A Guide to Endometriosis: Do you Know its Symptoms, Causes and Risk Factors?-banner

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