Endometriosis is a condition where similar cells to those on the inside of the uterus are found outside the womb in places like the pelvis and other such remote parts of the body. Each month a females body releases hormones causing the lining of the womb to thicken in preparation for egg fertilization, if pregnancy does not take hold the womb lining will break down and bleed – menstruation has begun.
During a females period if she has Endometriosis the cells react in the same way as those inside the womb. Each monthly cycle stimulates the Endo cells causing them to grow, break down and then bleed. The internal bleeding caused by this can lead to inflammation, pain, irritation as well as the formation of adhesion’s. It does not end there, endometrial tissues can build up within the ovary and form cysts.
Please bare in mind that not all women have symptoms, some may have no significant symptoms at all.
– Painful periods
– Pelvic Pain
– Pain during intercourse
– Difficulty conceiving
– Pain when moving bowels
– Pain whilst urinating
Diagnosis of Endo can take up to 7.5 years from the onset of symptoms. To reach a diagnosis a careful and thorough history is to be taken as it may highlight any symptoms that may be due to Endo itself. An examination of the pelvic area, an ultrasound scan and possibly a laparoscopy which is classed as the most reliable way to diagnose Endometriosis – it is also the most invasive of those just listed. If you have been through a laparoscopy and are concerned about the pain you are having then please do contact your doctor.
Endometriosis is not something that can be caused by certain actions or contagious, it is a disease of genetic, environmental and anatomical origin which contributes to the development of Endo. Please be clear whilst reading this that Endometriosis is NOT contagious or a type of infection, it is also NOT a type of cancer. It is handy to recommend that any benign tissue in the body has the potential to turn into a cancer however this is an extremely rare event.
Unfortunately there is no prevention or cure for Endometriosis however the symptoms and disease can be managed. The management for each individual may be different and depend on a number of different factors such as age, symptoms, disease severity and her personal desire to reproduce. It can affect all females of teenage years to menopause regardless of race or ethnicity.
Endometriosis effects around 176 million women worldwide, 1 in 10 women in the UK alone who are of reproductive age suffer from this cruel disease and is the second most common gynae condition in the UK. Endo is also a costly disease at £8.2billion to the UK economy per year for treatment, healthcare costs and at times where sufferers are out of work.
This post is for information only and should not by any means be considered for a diagnosis of the subject discussed. If you wish to find more information please head over to Endometriosis UK, this site is funded by the National Lottery. The site has a plethora of information including events where you can get involved in if you choose.