Endometriosis Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment
Endometriosis: What You Need to Know
Patients with endometriosis have endometrial-type tissue outside of the uterus.
Endometriosis affects an estimated 5 to 10 percent of women between the ages of 25 and 40.
Women with endometriosis are more likely to have infertility or difficulty getting pregnant.
Symptoms of endometriosis may include: excessive menstrual cramps, abnormal or heavy menstrual flow and pain during intercourse.
Laparoscopy, a minimally invasive surgical procedure, can be used to definitively diagnose and treat endometriosis.
What Causes Endometriosis
Heredity plays a role, and some endometrial cells may be present from birth. Another theory suggests that menstrual blood containing endometrial cells flows back through the fallopian tubes and into the pelvic cavity instead of out of the body. These cells are thought to stick to organs and keep growing and bleeding over time. Cells could also move to the pelvic cavity other ways, such as during a C-section delivery. A faulty immune system may fail to get rid of the misplaced cells.
The following are the most common symptoms for endometriosis, but each woman may experience symptoms differently or some may not exhibit any symptoms at all. Symptoms of endometriosis may include:
Pain, especially excessive menstrual cramps that may be felt in the abdomen or lower back
Pain during intercourse
Abnormal or heavy menstrual flow
Painful urination during menstrual periods
Painful bowel movements during menstrual periods
Other gastrointestinal problems, such as diarrhea, constipation and/or nausea
Endometriosis Tests include,
Ultrasound : A diagnostic imaging technique that uses high-frequency sound waves to create an image of the internal organs
CT scan : A noninvasive diagnostic imaging procedure that uses a combination of X-rays and computer technology to produce horizontal, or axial, images — often called slices — of the body to detect any abnormalities that may not show up on an ordinary X-ray
MRI scan : A noninvasive procedure that produces a two-dimensional view of an internal organ or structure
A diagnosis of endometriosis can only be certain, though, when the doctor performs a laparoscopy, biopsies any suspicious tissue and the diagnosis is confirmed by examining the tissue beneath a microscope.
1. Infertility, which can affect 50 percent of those with the condition.
2. Increased risk of developing ovarian cancer or endometriosis-associated adenocarcinoma
3. Ovarian cysts
5. Scar tissue and adhesion development
6. Intestinal and bladder complications
Laparoscopy (also used to help diagnose endometriosis): Laparoscopic Treatment for Endometriosis a minor surgical procedure in which a laparoscope, a thin tube with a lens and a light, is inserted into an incision in the abdominal wall; using the laparoscope to see into the pelvic area, the doctor can often remove the endometrial growths.
Laparotomy: A more extensive surgery to remove as much of the displaced endometrium as possible without damaging healthy tissue
Hysterectomy : Surgery to remove the uterus and possibly the ovaries