Endometriosis in Childbearing Women : An Overview, Causes, Risk, Treatment & Complications
Endometriosis is no longer a concealable fertility issue in women as studies clearly note its influence in mothers and future mothers. According to a study, 10% of premenopausal women worldwide are affected by endometriosis with up to 48% of the cases characterized by obvious symptoms. In other instances, endometriosis shows no symptoms, but its burden is later on felt as a woman tries to conceive.
Fertility experts and gynaecologists report a number of infertility cases triggered by endometriosis.
Endometriosis in Women!
Endometriosis is generally a painful condition where the uterine tissue “endometrium” emerges out from the uterus and begins growing on the outside. Normally, this tissue will grow on the Fallopian tubes, ovaries, and on the pelvic lining.
This tissue will continue acting as it ought to; in other words, it will thicken and break down hence releasing blood during your periods. This is generally a disorder that must be treated since the endometrium isn’t supposed to invade other regions.
In the near future, a woman will grow cysts; develop scar tissue, adhesions or twist the reproductive organs. Pain is a notable symptom that may indicate this abnormality.
Widely Reported Causes of Endometriosis
The exact cause of endometriosis is unknown, but a number of factors have been suggested as the possible triggers;
A woman may have increased chances of developing endometriosis in case her mother or any female in her family suffered from endometriosis.
In this case, the blood that contains the endometrial cells fails to get out of the body during the periods, but instead flows back to the Fallopian tubes and into the pelvic cavity. The retrograded cells will then stick to the pelvic walls and the nearby organs causing complications
Embryonic Cell Transformation
Disorders with the hormone levels, such as estrogen may cause the embryonic cells to change into endometrial cells during puberty.
These include abdominal surgeries, hysterectomy or C-section that may cause the endometrial cells to stick on a surgical incision.
Transformation of Peritoneal Cells
Fertility experts believe that immune or hormone factors can trigger the transformation of peritoneal cells into endometrial cells.
Other causes include an interrupted path of the endometrial cells and immune disorders.
Common Symptoms of Endometriosis in Women
Symptoms generally manifest themselves depending on severity. With that, there may be no symptoms in the beginning. Similarly, some women may observe or get these symptoms while others may not. Common symptoms include;
Pelvic pain is a primary symptom of endometriosis in all women. Generally, this pain is unbearable and hardly responds to painkillers
Dysmenorrheal “Painful Periods”
Since the endometrial tissue invades the nearby organs, there is more pressure produced during a female’s periods. This is made worse in case a woman already experiences pelvic pain, abdominal pain, and lower back pain during menstruation.
Menorrhagia is common in women with endometriosis and also menometrorrhagia.
Painful sexual Intercourse
Pain during sex is common in women with endometriosis
A good number of women with trouble getting pregnant are diagnosed with endometriosis.
Other symptoms that may mimic the normal female menstrual conditions include bloating, nausea, constipation, and fatigue.
There are a number of approaches fertility experts and gynaecologists use to diagnose endometriosis and they include;
A Pelvic Exam
A fertility expert can easily diagnose endometriosis with this approach in case cysts have already developed. In this case, he or she will palpate the entire pelvic region and the reproductive organs.
This technique utilizes high-frequency sound waves to produce images of your reproductive system on the monitor. During the procedure, a transducer is introduced into your vagina or pressed against your abdomen to check for the endometriomas.
This is a minimally invasive surgery used to diagnose and/or treat the cysts by removing them.
Your symptoms will also help a fertility expert during endometriosis diagnosis
Possible Treatment Options for Endometriosis
There are a number of treatment approaches provided depending on the severity or complications triggered. These include;
- Pain medications
- Hormone therapy (Hormonal contraceptives, Progestin therapy, Danazol, Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (Gn-RH) agonists and antagonists)
- Over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- ART “Assisted Reproductive Technologies”
Endometriosis & Its Complications
Women with endometriosis have an increased chance of suffering from infertility because of the damage caused in the reproductive system.
- Ovarian Cancer
Endometriosis is associated with a lower risk of ovarian cancer
Common Risks of Endometriosis
- Uterine Abnormalities
- Alcohol consumption
- Menstrual disorders
- Low Body Mass Index
- A poor quality life
Home Tips for Endometriosis
- Exercise regularly
- Prioritize gynaecology checkups
- Use a heating pad during your periods
- Have healthy meals