What You Need To Know About Endometriosis

Content Team

Endometriosis is a biological malfunctioning that affects the reproductive organs and the pelvic area of a woman’s body.

Instead of a woman having a normal period, the lining of her womb moves through her body instead of flowing out like the real menstrual bleeding it does not come out but causes severe pain that create scar tissue which is capable of gluing pelvic organs together inside the body.

It is a spectrum disease which means the degree of severity varies from individual to individual it could be a mild to severe endometriosis. Many girls and women who go through endometriosis tend to be moody and depressed when the pains roll in. The cause of endometriosis is not known although there are different theories to explain it such as change of the peritoneal cells and embryonic cell, surgical scar implantation, endometrial cells transport and immune system disorder, retrograde menstruation etc.

Endometriosis usually starts after years of menstruation. Pregnancy temporarily halts it and menopause permanently puts a stop to it.

Symptoms of Endometriosis

The main symptom of endometriosis is pelvic pain during the monthly period. Although pain sometimes comes with menstrual flow, people with endometriosis experience intense pain more than the usual. This pain increases and worsens from time to time.

  • Painful periods: Usually the pain and cramps begin before the menstrual period starts and a few days into it. In addition, a woman affected can experience lower back and abdominal pain.
  • Pain during or after s.x
  • Pain when defecating and urinating during the monthly period
  • occasional heavy periods or bleeding in between periods
  • Fatigue, diarrhoea, constipation, bloating or nausea, especially during menstrual periods
  • Infertility

Risk factors that predispose a woman to endometriosis include;

  • Starting monthly period at an early age
  • Getting to menopause at an older age
  • Never giving birth
  • Short menstrual cycles (less than 27 days)
  • Having higher levels of estrogen in your body
  • Low body mass index
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Having one or more relatives with endometriosis
  • Uterine abnormalities

Doctors diagnose endometriosis by doing the following;

  • Pelvic examination
  • Ultrasound
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • Laparoscopy

Women with endometriosis have certain health complications such as impaired fertility where egg and sperm cannot meet because the endometrium is blocking the entrance into the womb. They also have a higher chance of having ovarian cancer, which can develop later in life.

It is best not to delay seeing a doctor if you have the signs and symptoms of endometriosis. It can be a difficult condition to manage so the earlier it is discovered the better it is to get appropriate treatment.

Endometriosis usually involves medication or surgery. The approach that you and your doctor will use depends on the severity of the symptoms and your pregnancy plans. In spite of this challenge, women with mild to moderate endometriosis can still get pregnant and be delivered of their babies successfully.