Health

Endometriosis: Symptoms, Causes & Treatment

Endometriosis is a disease that affects a woman’s ovaries. This can often lead to issues like infertility. It is a problem where getting the treatment is very important.

In this article, Dr. Hrishikesh Pai from Babies & Us IVF and ICSI Centre, one of the best IVF centers in Mumbai, discusses endometriosis.

What is Endometriosis?

Endometriosis is a disease in which tissue similar to the lining of your uterus is present outside of your uterus. The lining of your uterus is called endometrium.

Approximately 15%-20% of women are affected by this disease. These women are in their reproductive ages. Endometriosis is very rarely found in girls before starting their period.

Babies & Us IVF and ICSI Centre, one of the best IVF centre in Mumbai, treat endometriosis. Dr. Hrishikesh Pai is the doctor at Babies & Us. He has a wide experience of 35+ years. 

Symptoms

According to Dr. Pai, the primary symptom of endometriosis is pelvic pain, often accompanied by periods. Many women experience pelvic pain during their periods, but pelvic pain is extreme and often unbearable in this condition. This pain may also increase over time.

Common symptoms include:

    • Heavy menstrual cycles
    • Cramps
    • Pain with urination
    • Pain with bowel movements
  • Intense bleeding
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

If you see these symptoms, you should visit your doctor.

Causes

The exact cause of endometriosis is not known, says Dr. Pai. But following are the possible causes of endometriosis:

Issues with the menstrual flow:

A backward menstrual flow is the most common cause of endometriosis. Some tissues shed during the period flow through the fallopian tube and into the other areas of the body, such as the pelvis.

 Genetic issues:

 Your endometriosis may be caused by a history of endometriosis in your family.

Hormonal issues:

Estrogen often promotes endometriosis.

Immune system issues: 

If your immune system is at fault, it may fail to find and get rid of the endometrial growth outside your uterus. Immune system disorders and some types of cancers are often found in women who have endometriosis.

Stages of endometriosis

 There are four stages of endometriosis, says Dr. Pai. They are as follows:

Stage Category Characteristic
 

1

 

Minimal

 

Minor wounds and shallow endometrial implants on the ovaries

 

2

 

Mild

 

Light wounds and shallow implants on the ovaries and the pelvic lining

 

3

 

Moderate

 

Many deep implants and more scars on your ovaries and pelvic lining 

 

 

4

 

 

Severe

 

Many deep implants on the pelvic lining and ovaries.

Scars on fallopian tubes and bowels

Cysts can be present in both the ovaries.

 

Diagnosis

The diagnosis of endometriosis starts with your gynecologist evaluating your medical history. They often do a physical exam as well as a pelvic exam.

A diagnosis of endometriosis with these tests cannot be thorough, but when the doctor performs a biopsy or laparoscopy, the suspicious tissue can be examined under a microscope. Laparoscopy is used to determine the endometrial growths’ size, location, and extent.

Other examinations include:

  • Ultrasound: This uses high-frequency sound waves to capture the images of the internal organs. This can help your doctor find cysts that are associated with endometrial growths.
  •  CT scan: An imaging technique that uses a combination of x-ray and computer technology. It produces horizontal or axial images to detect abnormalities that don’t usually appear in a regular x-ray. 
  •  MRI: MRI provides a two-dimensional view of internal organs giving your doctor details about the location or size of the endometrial growth.

 At Babies & Us IVF, one of the best IVF centres in Mumbai, all these diagnoses are made with utmost care.

Treatment

Currently, there is no remedy for endometriosis, but treatment can help you manage the symptoms:

Pain medications

Medications can help manage your pain. These include anti-inflammatory drugs and drugs to relieve painful periods. 

Hormonal treatment

Your doctor may recommend you birth-control pills or other methods of birth control. These medications help reduce estrogen levels and control the growth of unwanted tissues.

Conservative surgery 

It is used typically for the people who experience severe pain or want to start a family, or hormonal treatments aren’t working for them. This surgery intends to remove or get rid of the growth of endometriosis. 

Hysterectomy 

Your doctor may recommend a hysterectomy as a final option if nothing else seems to work. In this surgery, the surgeon removes the uterus and cervix. They also remove your ovaries because ovaries produce estrogen, which can cause the growth of endometrial tissues. This is the total hysterectomy. 

In a subtotal hysterectomy, the upper part of the uterus is removed, keeping the cervix intact. 

Radical hysterectomy is performed to remove cancer, removing the entire uterus, cervix, and the top of your vagina. 

After a hysterectomy, you will not be able to get pregnant. So if you are thinking about starting a family, hysterectomy is not an option for you.

These treatments are available at Babies & Us IVF and ICSI Centre, one of the best IVF centres in Mumbai.

Conclusion:

Living with endometriosis is not easy. It is painful, irritating, and problem-causing. Endometriosis can also lead to more significant issues if not treated correctly. So it is essential to seek help urgently if you see any symptoms.

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