Endometriosis Awareness Month
Endometriosis Awareness Month takes place every year in March. It aims to raise awareness about this chronic condition.
What is Endometriosis?
Endometriosis is a chronic condition where tissue similar to that of the lining of the uterus (endometrium), grows or implants outside of the uterus, most commonly in the pelvic cavity, such as ovaries and fallopian tubes. Endometriosis is one of the most painful conditions, which affects 1 in 10 women in the world.
Symptoms of Endometriosis.
- Painful periods are a common symptom and often the first symptom to notice a painful period that isn’t relieved by painkillers.
- Pain during or after intercourse.
- Pain at ovulation
- Abnormal uterine bleeding (heavy bleeding, irregular bleeding)
- Severe pelvic pain
- Back pain
- Painful Urination
- Painful bowel movements
- Difficulty In conception
- Other gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhea, constipation, nausea, and blood in the stool.
- Chronic fatigue
Causes of Endometriosis
There is no known cause of endometriosis. However, a common theory is that during your period, endometrial cells flow back into the body via the fallopian tubes. These cells then implant and attach to different areas and organs, creating endometriosis. There are several other theories for this condition.
Diagnosis of Endometriosis
Worldwide, diagnosis is an average delay of 7-10 years. Because the symptoms of endometriosis are cyclical and can be non-specific endometriosis can be dismissed as “Bad PMS” or “Heavy painful periods”. The goal standard of diagnosis is LAPAROSCOPY to visualize and test the tissue. Other tests to check for physical clues of endometriosis include:
- Pelvic exam
- Pelvic Ultrasound
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
Treatment of Endometriosis
Unfortunately, there is currently no cure for endometriosis. However, there are treatment options.
- Pain relieving medications to help relieve your pain.
- Hormone treatments: These treatments reduce or stop ovulation. therefore allowing the endometriosis to shrink by decreasing hormonal stimulation
- Surgery: The closest thing we have to a cure for endometriosis is excision surgery by a highly skilled endometriosis specialist.
Written by Dr. Stephanie.
Vetted by Dr. Uche and Dr. Fache