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All the Endometriosis Symptoms You Need to Know

All the Endometriosis Symptoms You Need to Know

Many of us have heard the term endometriosis and many wonder if they have endometriosis symptoms. It is tossed about in casual conversation like headache and sprained ankle. But what exactly is it? Unless you have had cause to investigate further than your casual conversations, your knowledge is probably limited to fertility issues and pain in the pelvic area. Well, pelvic pain and infertility are only symptoms caused by endometriosis, not the disease itself.

Endometriosis is a condition where the tissue that lines the inner portion of the uterus grows in the pelvic cavity outside the uterus. The extent of the extrauterine growth is rated on a scale of 1-4, with 4 being the most severe. Endometriosis is fairly common, affecting approximately one is every five females.

Key Points

  • Pain is one of the most common symptoms of endometriosis.
  • Endometriosis can be treated with medication. Sometimes, surgery is necessary.
  • Every now and again, endometriosis does not present with symptoms.

Symptoms of Endometriosis

As mentioned above, pain is one of the most prevalent endometriosis symptoms. The pain associated with endometriosis is varied. It ranges from severe menstrual cramping, that often gets worse over time, to painful intercourse. Dyschezia and dysuria (painful bowel movements and painful urination) are also common. General pelvic pain that is chronic or cyclical in nature, often accompanied by pain in the lower back, is also a calling card of endometriosis. As you may have noticed pain caused by endometriosis can take many forms.

In addition to pain, symptoms other effects of endometriosis are: nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, depression, fatigue, infertility, and lower than average fertility. Despite this long list of symptoms, some women have the condition with no symptoms whatsoever. It is only discovered as a result of medical treatment for other reasons that it is ever found.

Causes of Endometriosis

The precise cause of endometriosis is still up for debate, as is so often the case with the human body despite our medically advanced culture. There are many theories.

What we do know for sure it is that the disease is very much affected by estrogen. In fact, it is dependent on it. That is why almost all cases of endometriosis are in women of reproductive age. Some medical experts theorize that excess estrogen created during a woman’s menstrual cycle encourages the formation of endometrial tissues outside the uterus.

It also does seem to have a genetic link. Women who have a first degree relative with endometriosis are 10 times more likely to have endometriosis than the general population.

In addition to genetics and excess estrogen, weaknesses in the immune system are also being studied as possible causes. Each month during menses many women have a backward flow. This means some of the uterine lining actually sloughs off through the fallopian tubes into the pelvis. The immune system usually clears up the renegade endometrial cells. In women who develop endometriosis, however, this may not be the case.

Find Relief

It is important to talk to your doctor. Treatments range from medication to surgery. Medications like non-steroidal anti-inflammatories are common. Some women find relief with herbal supplements and alternative medicine like wild yam creams or acupuncture.

Laparoscopic surgery can be effective to remove the endometrial growth, but does not guarantee that it won’t come back. Other surgeries include hysterectomy and laparotomy.

In some cases, menopause clears up endometriosis symptoms. Discuss your options with your doctor to decide what is right for you.

Should I Ever Be Concerned About Endometriosis?

Endometriosis is a serious condition and definitely shouldn't be taken lightly. It isn't, however, anything to panic about. You won't die from endometriosis. If you suspect that you have this condition, it's important to talk to a doctor as soon as possible. Ideally, you should make an appointment with an OB/GYN, as this is their area of expertise. Medication or surgery can help improve your quality of life.

Endometriosis is definitely not something to ignore. Ignoring it will only allow symptoms to persist, and possibly get worse. It could affect your fertility. Nobody wants to face the idea of something being wrong with their body, but unfortunately it's often something we have to do. Don't feel alone; many women suffer from this condition. If you're struggling to accept your endometriosis diagnosis or the symptoms that come along with it, talk to your doctor about getting mental health help.

Do not take the content of this article as professional medical adviceIt's important to exercise due diligence when obtaining relevant information in matters pertaining to your health. Always consult with your healthcare provider before making any medical decisions.

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