One of the gynecological pathologies that women may suffer from is endometriosis, a process that can cause difficulties in achieving pregnancy. In order for you to know all the details about this pathology, we have prepared a complete topic where you can learn all about endometriosis, what it is and how it is cured, as well as all the effects that it can have on your health.
can cause in the organism of women.
What is endometriosis?
It is a pathology that occurs when the cells that line the uterus or womb (endometrium) grow in other areas of the body. To know in detail what endometriosis is, you should also know its possible effects.
This irregularity in the location of endometrial tissue can result in different types of symptoms. In some cases there are no symptoms, but in other patients there may be pain, heavy bleeding, bleeding between one menstrual period and another, and difficulty in achieving pregnancy or infertility.
Other aspects that will help you know what endometriosis is, are its causes. To detail these, we will begin by explaining the standard process that occurs each month in the female body.
On a monthly basis, the ovaries generate hormones that tell the cells that line the inside of the uterus (endometrium) to change their shape and composition (swell and thicken). When the menstrual period occurs, these cells are eliminated with the blood.
As visualized in real endometriosis photos, endometrial cells can grow in different locations; the ovaries, fallopian tubes, intestines, rectum, bladder, lining of the pelvic area and other areas.
The cause of endometriosis is unknown, but it is known to be a common, possibly underdiagnosed process. It occurs in almost 10% of women of productive age.
On the other hand, it is usually detected between 25 and 35 years of age in women. And it is more likely to appear in women than in men:
● Have a mother or sister with this pathology.
● Have started menstruating from an early age.
● Have not had children.
● Have long (seven days or more), or frequent menstrual periods.
Among the main symptoms of endometriosis is pain. It may appear during the period (dysmenorrhea), specifically in the lower abdominal area, and may begin one or two weeks prior to menstruation. These pains can be mild or very strong.
Another symptom secondary to endometriosis may be pain during or after sexual intercourse, called dyspareunia. It may also arise after urination or defecation, although the latter are less frequent. The pain may be cyclic or chronic.
Other possible symptoms of endometriosis may include:
● Heavy menstrual bleeding or bleeding between periods.
● Infertility, difficulties in becoming pregnant or preserving pregnancy. This is the main link between endometriosis and pregnancy.
There are cases in which women do not present symptoms, and the diagnosis of suspicion is ultrasound, or is made after surgery.
How do I know if I have endometriosis?
As mentioned above, significant pain during menstruation is one of the main signs of this pathology. It is advisable to have an annual gynecological check-up by a specialist.
Gynecologic transvaginal ultrasound is the scan usually performed to visualize both uterus and ovaries. The most common finding in endometriosis is usually an ovarian cyst or endometrioma. Other ultrasound findings of endometriosis are the tendency to cause adhesions between the uterus, ovaries, tubes and other pelvic organs. Sometimes gynecological ultrasound is not able to detect some alterations caused by endometriosis, and the diagnosis is surgical (through surgery). Among the tests carried out to determine if the disease exists, we can mention the following:
● Transvaginal ultrasound
● Pelvic laparoscopy
● Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
Currently there are several treatments that can be applied. The type of treatment you are prescribed will depend on several aspects, such as:
● Severity of symptoms
● Severity of the pathology or if it is deep endometriosis.
● The desire to have children in the future or not.
Although there is no definitive cure for this pathology, these treatments are effective and can improve the patient’s condition.
Ingestion of analgesics
When endometriosis is mild, with mild symptomatology, it is possible that pain can be controlled with a combination of relaxation techniques and exercises, analgesics such as ibuprofen (Advil), paracetamol (Tylenol) and naproxen (Aleve).
When the pain is a little stronger, prescribed analgesics will be applied; of greater effect. In addition, it is advisable to be monitored by a medical specialist.
In general, the treatment to control the progression and clinic of endometriosis is hormonal treatment. The route of administration of this hormone treatment is varied; in
oral form, injections, IUD, patches, vaginal ring.
Hormonal treatment is indicated in patients who do not desire gestation.
The drugs can be: combined contraceptives (estrogens plus progesterone), or only gestagens (in oral format, vaginal tablets, IUD), or gonadotropin agonists (in injected format). The objective of these treatments is to induce an ovarian rest; and a relief of the symptomatology derived from endometriosis.
Sometimes when medical treatment does not work, and the patient has a significant symptomatology, or presents an important anatomical alteration associated with severe pain; it is possible that there is a surgical indication:
● Laparoscopy: allows for diagnosis of the condition and removal of the tissue.
scarring and tumors.
● Laparotomy: is a major surgery performed to remove tumors and
● Hysterectomy: surgery to remove the uterus, ovaries and fallopian tubes.
Fallopian. It is used when symptoms are severe and cannot be treated.
have been controlled with other treatments, and you do not wish to have children.
in the future.
There are some ovarian cancers that are somewhat more common in patients who have been diagnosed with an ovarian endometrioma. An adequate follow-up by your gynecologist; with serial ultrasound controls is recommended.