• Shruti GOCHHWAL

Why Endometriosis Is a Threat to Women’s Fertility

Several conditions can affect a woman’s reproductive health. Most of them are related to the uterus, i.e., a reproductive organ that protects the fetus. Some of these conditions include endometriosis, and bulky uterus. All these conditions can severely affect a woman’s fertility or diminish her ability to get pregnant.

What Is Endometriosis?

Endometrial tissue grows inside the uterus and protects the womb lining for ovulation (the process of the egg release in women during menstruation). This tissue contains glands, blood cells, and other connective tissue.

When endometrial tissue develops in places outside the uterus, it gives rise to endometriosis. Endometriosis radiology indicates that it grows most commonly in places like your lower abdomen (pelvic area) and the ovaries.

If the tissue grows inside the uterus, as in, in normal circumstances, then it is expelled during menstruation. But when it grows outside, as in endometriosis, it cannot be removed during menstruation. It causes pain in the lower abdomen. If remained undiagnosed, the tissue can spread further and affect the daily functioning of the patient.

Endometriosis is divided into various stages. These are based on the presence and extent of the severity of this tissue and the presence and extent of this tissue’s development in the ovaries. Endometriosis stages are:

  1. Stage – I (minimal)

  2. Stage – II (mild)

  3. Stage – III (moderate)

  4. Stage – IV (severe)

What Are Endometriosis Causes?

Sanitary pads for menstruation

Caption: Sanitary pads for menstruation, Credit: Pixabay


The exact cause of Endometriosis remains unknown. The following causes are put forward:

  1. Menstrual flow problems

  2. Scar endometriosis

  3. Growth of embryonic cell

  4. Genetic factor

  5. Menstrual flow problems: Instead of following the usual path of exiting the body, menstrual flow enters the fallopian tubes and pelvis instead.

  6. Scar endometriosis: A process like C- section can move the endometrial cells causing scarring of the tissue.

  7. Growth of embryonic cell: Sometimes, embryonic cells and the pelvis may develop into endometrial tissue within those areas.

  8. Genetic factor: A woman with endometriosis in some family members is also at risk of developing the condition herself.

Symptoms

Woman experiencing pain

Woman experiencing pain, Credit: Pixabay


Some of the symptoms commonly associated with endometriosis are:

  1. Intense menstrual cramps

  2. A longer than usual period cycle

  3. Prolonged lower pain and pelvic pain

  4. Diarrhea, constipation, and bloating

  5. Vomiting

  6. Blood in urine or stool

  7. Spotting between periods

Treatment

woman with pills

Caption: woman with pills, Credit: Pixabay


There are several treatments for endometriosis. However, if the problem persists, endometriosis surgery is seen as the last resort. Some of the possible treatment options for women with endometriosis are as follows:

  1. Medications for pain

  2. Treatments with hormones

  3. Endometriosis surgery

  4. Medications for pain: Medications for managing pain include both over the counter drugs like ibuprofen or prescribed medications by the doctor.

  5. Treatments with hormones: Hormonal therapies like birth control, Medroxyprogesterone can also be used as a possible treatment option. An intrauterine device (IUD) is also generally advised.

  6. Endometriosis surgery: The surgery is done to remove endometriosis areas. It is called conservative surgery. It is done for mild-moderate forms of endometriosis. For more severe cases, uterus removal, through a hysterectomy surgery becomes necessary.

Women between the ages 25-40 years commonly experience endometriosis. Although its cause remains mostly unknown, women struggling with painful symptoms are still able to conceive. There are various treatment lines for this condition, but the best preventive action on your part would be to consult a medical practitioner if you feel too much pain during the menstrual cycle. Additionally, maintaining a healthy lifestyle with ample movement daily is greatly effective in reducing the symptoms’ severity.

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