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Understanding a complex disease called endometriosis

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Endometriosis is a complex condition that affects millions of women worldwide. Characterized by the presence of endometrial-like tissue outside the uterus, endometriosis can cause a wide range of symptoms and significantly impact a woman’s quality of life. In this article, we delve into the intricacies of endometriosis, shedding light on its causes, symptoms, and methods of diagnosis.

What Causes Endometriosis?

The exact cause of endometriosis remains elusive, but several theories have been proposed by experts in the field. One prevailing theory suggests that during menstruation, menstrual blood containing endometrial cells flows backward through the fallopian tubes into the pelvic cavity instead of exiting the body. These displaced endometrial cells then adhere to pelvic organs and tissues, where they continue to grow and shed with each menstrual cycle, causing inflammation, scarring, and pain.

Common Symptoms of Endometriosis

Endometriosis can manifest differently in each individual, but there are several hallmark symptoms commonly associated with the condition. These may include:

  1. Pelvic Pain: Chronic pelvic pain, often ranging from mild to severe, is one of the most prevalent symptoms of endometriosis. The pain may occur before, during, or after menstruation and may worsen over time.

  2. Painful Menstruation (Dysmenorrhea): Women with endometriosis often experience intense menstrual cramps that are not adequately relieved by over-the-counter pain medications.

  3. Painful Intercourse (Dyspareunia): Endometriosis can cause discomfort or pain during sexual intercourse, which can significantly impact a woman’s sexual health and well-being.

  4. Heavy Menstrual Bleeding (Menorrhagia): Some women with endometriosis may experience unusually heavy menstrual bleeding, leading to anaemia and fatigue.

  5. Infertility: Endometriosis is a common cause of infertility in women. The presence of endometrial implants and scar tissue can interfere with normal reproductive function, making it difficult to conceive.

Diagnosing Endometriosis

Diagnosing endometriosis can be challenging due to its varied symptoms and the absence of definitive diagnostic tests. However, several approaches may be used to diagnose the condition, including:

  1. Medical History and Symptom Assessment: A thorough medical history review and discussion of symptoms with a healthcare provider are often the first steps in diagnosing endometriosis.

  2. Pelvic Examination: A pelvic examination may reveal abnormalities such as tender nodules or masses indicative of endometrial implants.

  3. Imaging Studies: Ultrasound, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), or computed tomography (CT) scans may be used to visualize endometrial implants and assess the extent of the disease.

  4. Laparoscopy: The gold standard for diagnosing endometriosis is laparoscopic surgery, during which a surgeon inserts a thin, lighted instrument called a laparoscope into the pelvic cavity to directly visualize and biopsy endometrial implants.

Endometriosis is a complex and often challenging condition that requires careful attention and management. By understanding the causes, symptoms, and methods of diagnosis associated with endometriosis, women can empower themselves to seek timely medical intervention and receive the support and treatment they need to manage the condition effectively.

If you suspect you may have endometriosis or are experiencing symptoms suggestive of the condition, you should talk to our doctors today and get yourself tested. Have a look at endometriosis treatment offered at Altius hospital here : Endometriosis treatment at Altius

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