4 Facts About Endometriosis That You Should Be Aware Of

Endometriosis is a disorder in which tissue similar to the lining of the uterus (known as "the endometrium") is located outside the uterus, causing a persistent inflammatory process that may result in scar tissue. It is most commonly seen on the pelvic peritoneum, ovaries, recto-vaginal septum, bladder, and colon.

Did you know that it takes an average of 7.5 years to be diagnosed with endometriosis, a gynecological disorder fraught with taboos, misunderstandings, and a general lack of understanding? The new recommendations aim to speed up the identification and treatment of endometriosis patients by emphasizing symptoms such as pelvic pain, dysmenorrhea (painful periods), and infertility to doctors. Here are four facts about endometriosis that you should be aware of.

1. Many women who have endometriosis go undiagnosed

Endometriosis is present in up to one in every ten adolescent girls and women globally. That equates to around 6.5 million females of reproductive age in the United States. According to other specialists, the figure is greater since more women go misdiagnosed. 

This is because some women confuse endometriosis pain with typical period pain, while others just avoid discussing it. However, you should know that not all period pain is caused by endometriosis.

2. Pain is the most common symptom of endometriosis

Pain is a typical symptom of endometriosis, especially in the abdominal, lower back, and pelvic areas. The amount of endometriosis a woman has no bearing on the degree of suffering. Some women have no pain while having significant endometriosis, which suggests that the affected regions are large or there is scarring. Some women, on the other hand, have excruciating pain while having only a few minor spots of endometriosis. 

Other symptoms of endometriosis include:

  • Menstrual cramps that be excruciatingly painful (or incapacitating)
  • Pain in the lower back, intestines, and pelvis
  • Pain during or after sex
  • Intestinal discomfort
  • Painful urine or bowel movements during menstruation
  • Heavy menstrual cycles, as well as spotting or bleeding between periods
  • Infertility

3. The cause of endometriosis is still unknown

Although endometriosis has no obvious cause, doctors think it could occur when uterine lining cells are migrated to the pelvis during a menstrual period. Unlike uterine lining cells, which may exit the body through the vagina after menstruation, endometriotic cells have no way out. This causes pain and inflammation, as well as damage to the pelvic organs in some women due to the creation of scar tissue and cysts.

4. There are various treatment options for endometriosis

It's essential to get treatment as soon as possible because this condition's symptoms might have drastic effects. There are medical and surgical treatment options available, but your doctor may advise you to start slowly.

Non-surgical procedures

First, your doctor will most likely recommend pain relievers such as Ibuprofen. Hormone therapy, which regulates your hormones and can help limit the growth of endometrial tissue, is another possibility. Hormonal contraceptives, on the other hand, can help balance hormones within your body.

GnRH (Gonadotropin-releasing hormone) agonists and antagonists

These are taken by women to prevent the synthesis of estrogen, a hormone that stimulates the ovaries. This medication induces a fictitious and transient menopause. It can assist with endometriosis symptoms, but it can have unpleasant side effects.

Minimally invasive surgery

If medications do not improve your endometriosis symptoms, minimally invasive surgery is the next step. This is a great option for women who are in pain yet still wish to have children in the future. 

Major surgery

When all other treatments have failed, this is the final resort yet may still be a possibility for treatment. The uterus, cervix, and perhaps the ovaries, as well as any endometrial tissue discovered outside of the uterus, will be removed during this surgery. Before deciding on a major procedure, learn as much information as possible.

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