A condition in which fragments of the endometrium (the lining of the inside of the uterus) are found in other parts of the body, usually in the pelvic cavity. Endometriosis can cause infertility in up to two in five affected women.
INCIDENCE AND CAUSES
Endometriosis most commonly occurs in women who are aged between 25 and 40. The cause of the disorder is not clear. In some cases, it is thought to be due to the failure of certain fragments of the endometrium, shed during men-struation, to leave the body. Instead, they travel up the fallopian tubes and into the pelvic cavity, where they can adhere to and grow on any pelvic organ. These
displaced patches of endometrium con-tinue to respond to hormones that are produced in the menstrual cycle and bleed each month.
For more about endometriosis please go here: Endometriosis what is it ?
The symptoms of endometriosis vary greatly. Some women have no symptoms, but the disorder most commonly causes abnormal or heavy menstrual bleeding. There may be severe abdominal pain and/or lower back pain during menstruation. Other possible symptoms include dyspareunia (painful sexual intercourse), diarrhoea, constipation, and pain during defaecation. The internal bleeding causes pain and is followed by healing, which produces internal scarring. Bleeding into an ovary may result in a blood-filled ovarian cyst (known as a “chocolate cyst” because of its appearance). Endometrial tissue may be deposited in the muscular wall of the uterus (myometrium); this condition is called adenomyosis. In rare cases, there is bleeding from the rectum during menstruation.
For more about endometriosis please go here: Endometriosis the symptoms
DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT
Laparoscopy (examination of the abdominal cavity with a viewing instrument) confirms the diagnosis. Certain drugs (including danazol, progestogen drugs, gonadorelin analogues, or the combined oral contraceptive pill) may be given to prevent menstruation. Local ablation of the endometrial deposits, using either laser treatment or electrocautery (the application of heat produced by an elec-tric current), may sometimes be needed.
If the woman is fertile, pregnancy often results in significant improvement. A hysterectomy (surgical removal of the uterus) and oophorectomy (surgical removal of the ovaries) may be offered if the woman does not have plans to have children.