Endometriosis affects women across the globe. However, a lot of misinformation, rumors, and a lack of proper care are often associated with it. With the right knowledge, however, this condition can be detected quickly and avoid any complications in the future. Let’s look at some of the top things that one needs to know about endometriosis which can be of great help when considering treatment.
The what, how, and why of Endometriosis
Endometriosis is a common gynecological condition that affects women in their reproductive years. It can be defined as a disorder in which the tissue that usually lines the uterus grows outside the uterus (usually in the pelvis around the womb, fallopian tubes and ovaries). The tissue cells respond to the hormones produced by the ovaries every month and start bleeding during a woman’s period. Unfortunately, there is no way for the blood to leave the body.
Doctors don’t know why endometriosis occurs but believe that it may be happening when cells that line the womb are carried to the pelvis during a woman’s period. Since these cells cannot leave the body through the vagina like the cells of the womb lining, they start causing damage to the pelvic organs via the formation of cysts and scar tissue.
The non-uniformity of its symptoms
Symptoms of endometriosis can vary from woman-to-woman, making it tricky to diagnose the condition accurately. Some women don’t experience any symptoms at all but may have trouble conceiving.
Here are some of the most common symptoms:
- Bleeding in-between periods
- Painful bowel movements
- Pain during, or after sex
- Pain in the pelvis, lower abdomen, or lower back
- Painful or heavy periods
The primary treatments for endometriosis are hormones, surgery, and pain management. However, not all surgeries are the same when it comes to endometriosis. Laparoscopic excision is usually the best treatment, however, only experienced surgeons who have a good knowledge of the disease should be the ones performing it.
The link between endometriosis and pregnancy
Endometriosis can impact fertility. In minor cases, sometimes destroying or removing endometriotic tissue can improve a woman’s chances of having a successful pregnancy, either natural or with the help of fertility treatment.
The impact of nutrition on endometriosis
Fortunately, lifestyle changes can help ease symptoms of endometriosis. A diet low in animal products and high in anti-inflammatory nutrients can help deal with the underlying causes of the condition by reducing the severity of the symptoms and minimizing the chances of reoccurrence. Probiotics may help modulate the immune system, while omega-3 can help reduce pain and inflammation. Magnesium can help relax the smooth muscles of the uterus, while antioxidants will help to combat free radical damage that happens during inflammation.
According to the Endometriosis Foundation of America, an estimated 176 million women across the globe have endometriosis.
According to the Endometriosis Society of India, around 125 million women in India are affected by endometriosis, with this number rising every year.
The above information is your guide to endometriosis and its treatment and is meant to act as a supplement to your consultations with a doctor or gynaecologist.