Endometriosis is a term, that defines a pathological growth of the uterine-lining tissue out of the uterus. The disease is seen in genitals (in the ovaries, fallopian tubes, uterus) and in other organs (in the bladder, stomach, kidneys, lungs). The symptoms of the disease depend on where the abnormal growth is located. As a rule, endometriosis provokes pain and enlargement in the affected organ.
The exact causes of the disease are not clear. The following factors are probable causes of endometriosis:
- Due to interruptions in the immune system the uterine-lining cells are not removed from the body as they should.
- During menstruation the cells of the uterine-lining tissues may be carried to other organs with blood. Retrograde menstruation may spread the cells in the ovaries, peritoneum, pelvic organs.
- The organs, that are not connected with the uterus may also get affected. In this case, the uterine-lining cells may be transported by the lymph flow.
- Predisposition to this abnormality can be passed on in the family.
- The disease may develop in fetus.
Some conditions that increase potential risk to develop endometriosis:
- frequent infectious and inflammatory processes in the pelvic organs and reproductive system;
- neoplasms, tumors, uterine fibroids;
- surgical interventions (cesarean section, abortion, surgical treatment of cervical erosion, etc.);
- childbirth complications;
- endocrine disorders, hormonal imbalance;
- anemia, immune deficit;
- smoking, alcohol abuse, excessive caffeine-containing drinks and drugs.
Endometriosis is hard to detects, because its symptoms are similar to other diseases. Moreover, in some women the disease runs symptomless. Some signs of the disease are as follows:
- severe lower abdominal pain;
- pain during sexual intercourse, defecation;
- painful feeling during gynecological examination;
- prolonged painful menstruation with heavy bleeding;
- menstrual cycle interruptions;
The treatment of endometriosis can be surgical or hormonal. However, in many cases both methods are used. In choosing the treatment method several factors are taken into account: age of the patient, number of pregnancies and births, location of the growth, severity of manifestations, presence of other pathologies, need for pregnancy.
The treatment for endometriosis does not only eliminate the disease, but also its consequences for the woman’s health.