Endometriosis is a disease where tissue similar to the lining of the uterus grows outside the uterus. It affects up to 10% of women between the ages of 15 and 44. It most often occurs on or around reproductive organs in the pelvis or abdomen, including fallopian tubes, ligaments around the uterus (uterosacral ligaments), the lining of the pelvic cavity, the ovaries, the outside surface of the uterus and the space between the uterus and the rectum or bladder. More rarely, it can also grow on and around the bladder, cervix, intestines, stomach, vagina or vulva and the rectum.
Doctors do not know exactly what causes Endometriosis, but there are a few theories of what might cause it. Some of the theories would be the endometrial tissues are transported to other areas of the body through the blood or lymphatic systems, endometrial cells may attach to the wall of areas outside of the uterus after a surgery, such as a c-section or hysterectomy. Also, statistics show there may be a genetic link to the condition. Endometrial tissue goes into the fallopian tubes and the abdomen instead of exiting the body during a woman’s period or other cells in the body may become endometrial cells.
The most common symptoms of Endometriosis are pain and infertility. Endometriosis typically presents itself with painful menstrual cramps that may go into the abdomen (stomach) or lower back. During a menstrual period, you could experience diarrhea or constipation, heavy or irregular periods which can include spotting or bleeding between cycles, pain while urinating or having a bowel movement. You may also feel pain during or after intercourse. It can make you feel fatigue and sometimes contribute to anxiety and leads to depression.
These are some risk factors that could cause Endometriosis. If you have a mother, sister or daughter who has endometriosis. An abnormal uterus, which is diagnosed by a doctor. Early menstruation beginning before age 11. If you experience shorter menstrual cycles that are less than 27 days on average, heavy menstrual periods that last more than seven days. There are some things that can lower the risk of endometriosis which include pregnancy, breastfeeding, and having your first period after age 14. Also, eating citrus fruits seems to help.
Endometriosis is an idiopathic condition, meaning there is no known cause. There are also no specific ways to prevent it. Doctors may suspect endometriosis based on your history or physical exam, and may use certain tools to diagnose the disease. Your physician can subscribe a Transvaginal ultrasound and MRI which are imaging studies that can be useful to look for signs of Endometriosis. A diagnosis is made by collecting a biopsy of tissue that is collected via laparoscopy.
Once diagnosed with Endometriosis, there is no lasting treatment, but doctors can offer ways to help you manage it. Finding the right treatment depends on many different factors, including your age and symptoms. Nonsurgical Endometriosis treatments such has hormone therapy and pain management can help. Another option would be surgical treatments. Many women can get relief from the symptoms and pain with treatment. However, endometrial tissue may grow back, with symptoms that may return even after surgery. Be sure to schedule regular check-ups with your doctor to look for signs of endometrial tissue growth or recurrence.
If you believe we can help you, please call us at 772 932-9310 or visit our website at www.hobesoundprimarycare.com to schedule an appointment. We look forward to be of service to you!