Understanding your endometriosis diagnosis has become easier in the last several decades. For many years it was difficult even for doctors to diagnose this disorder because the symptoms are so similar to other issues and diseases. Let’s learn what endometriosis is, its symptoms, and possible treatments.
What Is Endometriosis
Endometriosis is a painful disorder that primarily affects women in their 30s and 40s. It happens when tissue, called the endometrium, that normally grows inside the lining of a woman’s uterus, abnormally grows outside of the organ.
It can involve your ovaries, fallopian tubes, and the tissue that lines your pelvis. Like normal tissue, it thickens and bleeds when you have your menstrual cycle. Unfortunately, it has nowhere to go, and it becomes trapped inside your body and pelvic area.
Over time the tissue becomes irritated and eventually develops into scar tissue and adhesions. Pelvic tissue and organs can even stick together.
Symptoms Of Endometriosis
Severe pain accompanies each menstrual cycle along with an excessive flow.
Other symptoms can include the following:
- Pain during intercourse
- Painful urination and bowel movements during the menstrual cycle
- Gastrointestinal problems like diarrhea, constipation, and nausea
- Fatigue and back pain
Severe endometriosis can lead to anxiety and depression, and it can increase the risk of ovarian cancer.
Lastly, the pain experienced with endometriosis has no relationship to its extent.
Prognosis And Treatments For Endometriosis
There is no cure for endometriosis, however there are ways you can manage your symptoms. Many women use yoga, aromatherapy, physical therapy, and meditation to help them through the worst pain.
Beyond these at-home treatments there are other ways to not only relieve the pain and improve your quality of life, but help those who want to conceive.
Hormone therapy uses oral contraceptives to prevent ovulation and lower the amount of estrogen. Lesions bleed less so you don’t have as much scarring or inflammation.
Minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery can remove the unwanted tissue without affecting any of the other organs.
More traditional surgery can remove all the unwanted tissue in hopes a woman can conceive.
Lastly, a hysterectomy will remove the uterus when all other treatments fail to relieve the symptoms and a woman does not want children, or any more children.