Information on Endometriosis
Endometriosis is a medical condition in women in which endometrial cells grow outside their natural place, the uterus. Endometrial cells are the ones that form the membrane of the uterus and are ejected each month through menstruation. Endometriosis means that these cells are located outside the uterus, possibly on the ovaries, outer layer of the uterus, in the Fallopian tubes and less commonly in the vagina and the cervix.
The exact cause of endometriosis is not known. One possibility is that the immune system of the woman due to the malfunctions cannot recognize these cells outside the uterus. Normally, the immune system responds to the growth of these cells on other locations and destroys them. Other possibility includes the retrograde menstruation in which the menstrual blood flows through fallopian tubes into the abdomen and thus places the endometrial cells on unusual locations. The bloodstream or lymph system can move endometrial cells to the places even outside reproductive organs. The women with heavy bleeding are likely to have this problem. Some inborn abnormalities in the female reproductive organs may also be contributory to the problem. The very likely explanation for the endometriosis is the surgery. Some surgery intervention, like episiotomy or cesarean delivery may be liable for the endometriosis. One theory states that pelvic cells may transform and develop into endometrial cells. Endometriosis may be the part of genetic inheritance. Symptoms
Even though mostly asymptomatic, pains and infertility are the worst signs of endometriosis. The treatment thus revolves around the soothing the pains and solving the problem of infertility. For pains, doctors use hormone pills to reduce the level of estrogen, and thus the number of endometrial cells and lessen the pains. The hormone pills or patches also prevent further growth of endometrial cells outside the uterus. For pains and heavy bleeding women can take anti-inflammatory drugs to lessen the inflammation, pains and bleeding. In case of worse symptoms and if the above-mentioned therapy does not help, some stronger treatment can be considered, the one involving progestin, a progestin intrauterine device, a gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist and others. Laparoscopy may be needed if the cells are in the pelvic region and sometimes even the ovaries or the uterus have to be removed if a woman does not plan any children.
For infertility more serious and demanding approach should be taken. The woman who wants a baby goes through infertility treatment determined by her age, severity of the endometriosis, health, medical history. If the endometriosis is not that severe, the endometrial tissue is surgically removed. To improve the chance of pregnancy, women are given medicine that boosts ovulation and are advised to have sexual intercourse during the fertile days. Insemination and in vitro fertilization are common infertility treatments too.