Do you notice that you bleed from other places aside from 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, which is called Chronic Pelvic Pain.
Do you know anyone with this Condition?
This write-up is made for them.
There was this woman who came to the hospital with a complaint of excruciating lower abdominal pain on both sides that had lasted for over 10 months. She has been sent for several abdominal scans and a 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 innermost part 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. These common areas where endometriosis occurs are the abdomen, bladder, navel, ovaries, etc.
When they’re found in the ovaries it’s called Endometrioma/Chocolate cyst.
It is one of the most common medical conditions seen in women of reproductive age. To put this simply, about every one in 10 women within 15-50 years have endometriosis.
Causes of Endometriosis
The cause of endometriosis is not known for now but there are several reasons why these endometrial tissues may be found in these other areas of the body. Some of these reasons include;
- The backflow of menstrual blood through the fallopian tubes is the most commonly accepted reason why this happens. This is why some Schools 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 these new places. That means, they still respond to the same hormones that control changes and bleeding in the womb.
- Abdominal pains that worsen during menstruation,
- Pain while pooping.
- Also bleeding from the nose, navel, or anus depends on the location of the tissues in the body that occurs during your monthly cycle.
- Heavy Menstrual Bleeding
- Chronic Pelvic Pain
- Pain while having sexual intercourse
Most times, these symptoms begin a few days before menses and last until the end of menses.
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 damage the sperm or egg.
However, many women with mild to moderate conditions 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 possible 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 are important.
Treatment of Endometriosis
Women with this condition should see their doctor, particularly their gynaecologist.
He/she would examine you and advise you on the best available treatment option for you.
Available options could be;
- Medical: Using Analgesics, Combined oral Contraceptives, Progestogens, or other Hormonal agents.
- Surgical: This could be through laparoscopy, hysterectomy, or oophorectomy, depending on whether 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, and time and limits complications.
I hope you have learned something today.
Feel free to ask questions below.