Endometriosis and Its Implications

Endometriosis is a painful disorder whereby the tissue that is supposed to line the inside of the uterus grows outside instead. Despite the fact that the tissue has grown outside the uterus, it still plays its role during the menstruation cycle. 

In this case, the tissue breaks apart and bleeds as it is supposed to at the end of your period. However, there is no way out for the blood coming from this tissue, making the areas around it swollen and inflamed. 

Common Symptoms of Endometriosis

It is normal for most women to experience cramps during menstruation but the pain brought by endometriosis is worse.

Look out for other symptoms such as:

  • Pain during sex intercourse
  • Excess bleeding during periods.
  • Pain during urination
  • Infertility
  • Nausea
  • Bloating
  • Fatigue
  • Constipation
  • Back pain
  • Abdominal cramps

What are The Causes of Endometriosis

There is no proof on the main cause of endometriosis. There are however a few pointers that have been known to cause it. These are: 

  • Endometrial cell transfer – blood with endometrial cells usually travels through the fallopian tubes into the pelvic and the blood sticks to the organs.
  • Transformation of cells – Some body cells formed outside the uterus changes and become similar to the cells at the uterus lining.
  • Genes – A woman may have endometriosis due to genetic history whereby her mother had a similar condition
  • Surgical scar – Endometriosis may be experienced during surgery.

How Endometriosis Affects Fertility

Endometriosis may cause distortion at a woman’s pelvic area. This affects the peritoneum texture and causes scarring and adhesion, blocking the ovaries and fallopian tubes as a result 

The eggs thereby get trapped in the ovaries leading to painful miscarriages, or very complicated pregnancies. Here are other implications to note:

  • Most women with endometriosis experience challenges when conceiving. This is because the quality of the egg in the womb may be compromised. 
  • The ovaries and the tubes might be scarred
  • The embryo may experience problems while travelling down the fallopian tubes thus attaching to the uterus walls due to damages caused by endometriosis
  • The organs in the pelvis might experience some changes such as adhesions and blocked fallopian tubes.
  • Endometriosis may also cause inflammation whereby high levels of cytokines, for instance, will enclose the reproductive organs.

How to Treat Endometriosis

  • Medication – Endometriosis can be treated with medication. Anti-inflammatory medicine such as ibuprofen can assist to decrease pain. Oral contraceptives are also used to, temporarily, put women on a menopausal state.
  • Surgery is another way that may remove endometriosis and also burn the lesions that could possibly have developed outside the uterus. In addition, surgery removes scar tissue to enable the tubes and ovaries get back to their normal position.

How Endometriosis May Affect a Pregnancy

A woman with endometriosis may get medication that will enable her to become pregnant. If pregnant, you are likely to bleed before or towards the end of the pregnancy. Endometriosis may improve during pregnancy but chances are that it will be back later with higher chances of making you infertile again. Your baby might also be born smaller and earlier than expected.

Disclaimer:

#Please note that development differs from one child to another

# Content intended for educational purposes only, and should not be substituted for medical advice from your doctor

Last reviewed January 2019

Sources: mayoclinic, webmd, healthywomen, obgyn.ucla

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