- What is Endometriosis?
Endometriosis is a condition in which the lining of the uterus called endometrium begins to grow in locations elsewhere, outside the uterus. The growth may occur in the ovaries, fallopian tubes, uterus, bladder etc.
- Who gets Endometriosis?
Endometriosis is a condition that differentiates on grounds. The condition can occur in women of reproductive age, which is since the onset of menstruation until menopause.
- What are the causes & symptoms of Endometriosis?
There are no definitive causes of endometriosis.
In order to understand the symptoms of endometriosis, one first needs to understand what happens in the body during periods. During a menstrual cycle, the body sheds the endometrium which is broken down and flows out of the body as menstrual blood.
The most common yet ignored symptom of endometriosis is pain during periods. This is, in fact, one common myth that needs to be broken, period pain is not meant to be painful. Women believe that pain during periods is common and occurs to all. Consistent pain during the menstrual flow is not normal and needs to be checked by a healthcare practitioner. Other symptoms of endometriosis include irregular periods, heavy bleeding during menstrual flow, spotting, painful urination, pain during sexual intercourse. In some cases, women even experience pain in areas where the endometrium has developed. Symptoms of the condition vary in women. If one experiences painful urination, the other may experience some other symptom.
- Is this a form of cancer?
No endometriosis is not a form of cancer, neither are the cysts formed in endometriosis cancerous.
- Is this condition genetic?
The exact cause of endometriosis is still unknown, however, research does suggest that hereditary factors do play a role in the development of the condition.
- Can endometriosis be prevented and cured?
Endometriosis is not curable, however, specific symptoms of the condition can be managed and treated. Treatment of endometriosis is mainly for the management of pain and infertility caused as a result of endometriosis.
- Can I get pregnant if I have been diagnosed with Endometriosis?
Being diagnosed with endometriosis does not mean a woman will become infertile. The likelihood of developing fertility issues increase with endometriosis. However, yes, women with Endometriosis can get pregnant. In many cases, symptoms of endometriosis tend to reduce during pregnancy because of the hormonal changes. However, pregnancy is not a cure for endometriosis or any of its symptoms.
- What are the available treatments?
Medications and hormone therapies to relieve pain are the available options for managing the symptoms of endometriosis. The condition has no definitive cure.
As a last resort, women often opt for surgery. In cases of women with the condition who are trying to conceive, surgery may be an option to remove the grown endometrium lining in order to preserve the uterus and ovaries. However, the condition can recur in this case.
In other severe cases of endometriosis where medications and therapy do not seem to work, your Doctor may advise you to undergo a Hysterectomy. In this procedure, you get your uterus and both ovaries removed, eliminating your chances of becoming pregnant. Hence, if you are a young woman with endometriosis, looking to get pregnant, this surgery may not be the best-suited procedure.
Aster Clinic, Al Muteena (DMPC)