- 11. 12. 2016
- Reproductive health
ENDOMETRIOSIS CAUSES THE GROWTH OF THE TISSUE SIMILAR TO THE LINING OF THE UTERUS (ENDOMETRIUM) OUTSIDE THE UTERUS.
THIS TISSUE CAN CAUSE SERIOUS PAIN AND SCAR TISSUE. ENDOMETRIOSIS IS OFTEN THE CAUSE OF INFERTILITY IN WOMEN. STATISTICS SHOW THAT 30 TO 50 PERCENT OF INFERTILE WOMEN HAVE ENDOMETRIOSIS.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS AND DIAGNOSIS OF ENDOMETRIOSIS?
Serious pelvic and abdominal pains especially during menstruation or intercourse could be a sign of endometriosis but some women experience no symptoms at all. Endometriosis tissue growing in the ovary can be recognised just by ultrasound or by pelvic examination done by a doctor checking your body for abnormalities in the pelvic area. However if cysts don’t form and the endometriosis is small the doctor probably won´t be able to diagnose endometriosis by a simple pelvic exam. To be 100% sure a laparoscopy may be needed. It is a surgical procedure done while under a general anaesthesia so that the doctor can examine tissues using a laparoscope. After this procedure the doctors not only will be able to tell if you do or don´t have endometriosis but also where it is, how extensive it is and advise the best treatment.
ENDOMETRIOSIS AND FERTILITY
Endometriosis causes women to be infertile. It can distort the anatomy of your pelvis and cause inflammation, scar the Fallopian tubes, change the eggs´ hormonal environment lowering their quality and making implantation harder. It can even change the functioning of your immune system. Endometriosis has four levels; the first level is minimal severity and stage four is the most severe. The higher the level the harder it is to get pregnant. Women with stage four endometriosis have great difficulties conceiving and need advanced fertility treatments.
Depending on the severity and the stage of endometriosis doctors will recommend different ways of treatment or may suggest surgery.
In the case of very painful menstrual cramps, pain killers are suggested, usually nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as Ibuprofen, Naproxen and similar. If this doesn´t help, a different approach is needed.
There might be a need to try hormonal therapy which is more effective in dealing with severe pain caused by endometriosis. While menstruating the endometriosis tissue thickens and finally cracks and starts bleeding. Treating with hormones will slow down the tissue growth and should stop the creation of the new tissues.
In case of trying to have a baby, conservative surgery could prove to be very helpful. Conservative means it will leave your uterus and ovaries preserved while in the same time the surgeons try to remove as much of the endometriosis tissue as possible. You could also use standard surgery in cases of severe pain but it will not give you the guarantee that the endometriosis won´t come back with its pains.
In vitro fertilisation
IVF is used in many cases instead of conservative surgery in cases when endometriosis makes it impossible for the woman to get pregnant.
Total Hysterectomy is used in the worst case scenarios where the endometriosis is so severe, doctors have to surgically remove the uterus, cervix and both of the ovaries.