Endometriosis Symptoms are quite common in women and can vary from very mild to
highly disabling in nature. In this article we will be looking closely at Endometriosis Symptoms and the treatments.
Endometriosis and Fertility problems is quite a common condition. In this article we shall consider what endometriosis is, its symptoms, its diagnosis and also its treatment.
What is Endometriosis?
Endometriosis is a very common condition in women and is estimated to affect between 8% and 10%. The endometrium is the tissue that lines the inside of the uterus and increases in thickness during a woman’s normal menstrual cycle in readiness to accept the fertilised egg. If no pregnancy occurs the lining is shed each month and this is responsible for the woman’s bleeding on her period. The cells of the endometrium become mis-placed in endometriosis and grow in other parts of the body. The cells respond to hormone changes in a woman’s body and each month will thicken and then shed blood as hormones levels change. Unfortunately the blood that is shed from mis-placed endometrium cells has no natural exit from the body and can become a chronic infection. Endometrium cells can be found in the cervix, vulva, vagina, bowel, and bladder and more rarely in the lung. Common sites affected are the ovaries, the fallopian tubes, the structures surrounding the uterus including the outer surface of the uterus and the lining of the pelvic cavity. Endometriosis Symptoms come in many forms as we have seen above and this is often confused by medical professionals initially with many other kinds of gynecological diseases.
Range of Endometriosis Symptoms
There is a wide range of symptoms with endometriosis from no symptoms at all to mild to completely disabling pain. Low back pain that starts or is worse around a woman’s period; menstrual cramps; pre-menstrual spotting; loss of dark blood at the beginning or end of the period; pain in the pelvis particularly after sex; pain with bowel movements particularly during periods; painful urination that worsens during the period may all the signs of endometriosis.
Diagnosis of Endometriosis
Women often suffer without diagnosis for many years due the difficulty of making a conclusive diagnosis. Scans, blood tests and physical examinations are not a reliable method of diagnosis of endometriosis. For the most reliable diagnosis where the site of the condition is within the pelvic region (most common) a laparoscopy procedure is used. This is a fine tube with a camera that is inserted into the pelvic region via a small incision near the naval. Doctors can then see around the internal organs and can see endometrial cysts or sites of endometriosis.
Treatment of Endometriosis
Endometriosis is thought to be significantly effected by high levels of oestrogen thus a diet that helps to reduce this hormone will help to eliminate the disease. Although there is no cure for endometriosis, the condition can often be reduced so that it is not a major problem in terms of fertility or disabling symptoms. Things a woman can do herself are to switch her diet to a more healthy low fat and high fibre diet and also ensure that she is eating a vitamin rich diverse diet of fresh fruit and vegetables. Choosing lean cuts of meat and oily fish are also recommended.
Orthodox treatment for endometriosis is aimed at removing the mis-placed endometrial tissue, preventing re-occurrence and restoring fertility. Sometimes the endometrial tissue can be best removed with a laparoscope. Instead or as well as this the doctor may prescribe hormone treatments designed to stop ovulation for a period of time to allow the endometrial tissue to die off.
Endometriosis Symptoms – Prognosis
Endometriosis Symptoms can be a very long standing problem that has many different diagnostic methods and treatments. As we have seen, the problems of endometriosis and fertility are common, but with the help diet and lifestyle changes sometimes that is all that is needed to return to natural fertility for a woman. For more persistent cases a doctor may be needed to treat the condition with small surgical procedures. Of course quite apart from the effects that endometriosis has on fertility it is also an incredibly debilitating condition for a woman. Bringing this condition under control is a very important step to improving general health and making those important self help changes to lifestyle and diet can be very worthwhile.