Endometriosis is a medical condition characterised by the growth of tissue resembling the uterine lining outside of the uterus. It is estimated to affect more than 11% of women aged 15 to 44. This condition is particularly prevalent among women in their 30s and 40s and may pose challenges to fertility. Numerous treatment options are available to alleviate symptoms and enhance the likelihood of successful conception.
Symptoms of endometriosis encompass:
- Pain is the most common manifestation, with diverse forms experienced by affected women, including:
- Intense menstrual cramps that may intensify over time.
- Persistent lower back and pelvic pain.
- Discomfort during or after sexual intercourse, often described as a deep ache, distinct from initial penetration pain.
- Painful bowel movements or urination during menstruation, rarely accompanied by blood in stool or urine.
Occasional bleeding or spotting between menstrual cycles may occur, although this can stem from factors unrelated to endometriosis. Consistent occurrences warrant medical attention.
Endometriosis can impede the ability to conceive.
Gastrointestinal issues like diarrhoea, constipation, bloating, or nausea, particularly during menstruation, might be present.
How Endometriosis can cause pain and health problems:
The development of endometriosis involves the proliferation of tissue resembling the uterine lining outside the confines of the uterus. This tissue behaves akin to the uterine lining, swelling and bleeding during the menstrual cycle.
The growths associated with endometriosis can lead to various complications, including:
Fallopian Tube Obstruction:
Growth coverage or invasion of the ovaries may obstruct fallopian tubes, possibly resulting in cyst formation due to trapped blood.
Inflammation and Adhesions:
Inflammation and the formation of scar tissue or adhesions might transpire, potentially leading to pelvic pain and fertility challenges.
Gastrointestinal and Bladder Complications:
Endometriosis growths can adversely affect intestines and bladder function.
Who gets Endometriosis:
Endometriosis is a prevalent health concern among women, with researchers estimating that a minimum of 11% of women, or over 6.5 million individuals, experience this condition. Although endometriosis can affect women of any age with menstrual cycles, it tends to be more frequent among women in their 30s and 40s.
Certain factors may increase the likelihood of developing endometriosis, including:
- Never having given birth.
- Menstrual cycles exceeding seven days.
- Short menstrual cycles of 27 days or shorter.
- Family history of endometriosis (e.g., mother, aunt, sister).
- Conditions disrupting normal menstrual blood flow.
Causes of Endometriosis:
The precise causative factors of endometriosis remain uncertain and are being actively investigated.
- Irregular menstrual flow, such as retrograde menstruation where tissue migrates through the fallopian tubes into unintended areas like the pelvis.
- Genetic predisposition, as evidenced by familial patterns.
- Immune system anomalies, which may fail to identify and eliminate ectopic endometrial tissue.
- Hormonal influences, particularly oestrogen, which appears to promote endometrial growth. Research is ongoing to ascertain if hormonal imbalances underlie endometriosis.
- Surgical interventions involving the abdominal region, like C-sections or hysterectomies, may inadvertently transfer endometrial tissue, potentially leading to its presence in surgical scars.
While no definitive cure exists for endometriosis, treatment options are accessible to address symptoms and associated issues. Consultation with the best gynaecologist in Ahmedabad is recommended to explore suitable treatment avenues.
How can be diagnosed?
Medical interventions may involve hormonal birth control, particularly in non-fertility-focused cases. Hormonal treatments can include extended-cycle or continuous-cycle birth control in pill or injectable forms, which aid in mitigating bleeding and pain. In cases where pregnancy is desired, gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonists may be prescribed. Although inducing temporary menopause, this approach curbs endometrial growth, potentially improving fertility prospects.
Surgical intervention is often reserved for severe symptoms unresponsive to hormonal treatment or in cases of fertility challenges. Surgical procedures involve locating and removing endometriotic patches. Post-surgery, hormonal therapy may be resumed, except when fertility is the primary concern.
Complementary and alternative therapies, such as pain medications and CAM techniques like acupuncture or herbal supplements, can also be considered in conjunction with conventional treatments. However, it’s essential to consult with a gynaecologist in Ahmedabad before adopting any supplemental measures.
Endometriosis, characterised by tissue similar to uterine lining growing outside the uterus, affects a significant portion of women, particularly those in their 30s and 40s. While its origins are still under investigation, various treatments offer relief from symptoms and associated complications. Medical and surgical interventions, along with complementary therapies, provide avenues for managing pain and addressing fertility concerns. Open dialogue with the best gynaecologist in Ahmedabad is vital for tailored treatment and improved quality of life for those dealing with endometriosis.