Endometriosis: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment

Do you notice that you bleed from other places asides your private part during your menses? You could be having Endometriosis. In most cases, it comes with this severe pain around your lower abdomen or pelvis, that is called Chronic Pelvic Pain.

Do you know anyone with this Condition?
This write up is made for them.

There was this woman that came to the hospital with complaint of this excruciating lower abdominal pain on both sides that has lasted for over 10 months. She has been sent for several abdominal scans and series of other laboratory tests and investigations.

After evaluation, it turned out that she had ‘chocolate cysts’, a form of endometriosis.

What is Endometriosis

The womb (uterus) of a woman, has different parts, the inner most past called the endometrium is the part that houses the baby. It is also the part that is lost in the monthly menstrual flow.

Endometriosis is a medical condition where this endometrial tissue is found in other areas of the body aside from the womb. This common areas where endometriosis occurs are the abdomen, bladder, navel, ovaries etc.

Endometriosis
Endometrial Tissues in other parts of the body. Image credits

When they’re found in the ovaries it’s called Endometrioma/Chocolate cyst.

It is one of the commonest medical conditions seen in women of reproductive age. To put this simply, about every one in 10 women withing 15-50 years have endometriosis.

Causes of Endometriosis

The cause of endometriosis is not known for now but there are a number of reasons why these endometrial tissues may be found in these other areas of the body. Some of these reasons include;

  1. Back flow of menstrual blood through the fallopian tubes is the most commonly accepted reason why this happens. This is why some School of thought discourage sex during menses.

Symptoms of Endometriosis

While these endometrial tissues may be found outside the womb, they still act as though they are in the womb in this new places. That means, they still respond to the same hormones that control changes and bleeding in the womb.

Symptoms include;

Most times, these symptoms begin a few days before menses, and lasts until the end of menses.

Endometriosis can be mostly confused with other medical conditions that can cause chronic pelvic pain, like pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) or ovarian cysts.

Complication of Endometriosis

The most important complication of this condition is infertility. Endometriosis may sometimes obstruct the fallopian tube and prevent the sperm and egg from uniting. Also, the condition can also damage the sperm or egg.

However, many women with mild to moderate condition can still conceive and have babies.

Endometriosis and Infertility

About 3 or 4 in every 10 persons with endometriosis complains of difficulty in conceiving a child.

This is possibly because, the accumulation of altered blood in endometriosis can cause inflammation and scarring of the fallopian tube making it difficult for the transport of sperm/egg during intercourse and hence, impossible for the person to conceive without assistance (e.g: IVF). Hence early diagnosis and treatment is important.

Treatment of Endometriosis

Women with this Condition should see their doctor, particularly their gynaecologist.
He/she would examine you and advice you on the best available treatment option for you.

Available options could be;

  • Medical: using Analgesics, Combined oral Contraceptives, Progestogens or other Hormonal agent.
  • Surgical: which could be through laparoscopy, hysterectomy or oopherectomy, depending on if you still want to have children or not.

Your doctor would guide you on the best possible options.

In conclusion, the need to consult your doctor whenever you notice something unusual in your body cannot be overemphasized. It saves you money, time and limits complications.

I hope you have learnt something today.

Feel free to ask questions below.

Authors

  • Dr. Echibuogu Nelson Tochukwu currently works as a medical officer at Prince Of Peace Specialist Hospital in Lagos. He holds an MBBS Degree from the Abia State University. He is a story teller, script writer and a lover of sport. You can follow him on twitter below.

Leave a Reply

Scroll to Top