What is Endometriosis?

Women often hear about endometriosis as a condition that can happen to women of reproductive ages. Naturally, they would ask “what is endometriosis?” The uterus has an inner lining called endometrium. This endometrium is a very important part of the uterus for this is where the egg cell would implant itself after fertilization. If fertilization does not happen, it sloughs off during a woman’s menstrual cycle. In endometriosis, the endometrium grows in other parts of the body other than the uterus. It can be found on the ovaries, fallopian tubes, or on the superficial lining of the pelvic cavity.
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When delving into the question of “what is endometriosis,” do understand that the condition is benign. It can affect 3% to 18% of women in the United States that are within their reproductive years. Endometriosis occurs in some women when they start experiencing menstrual periods. The condition also stops when the woman reaches menopausal stage. It is not understood what causes endometriosis and why some women can go through life without experiencing the condition. Some do not seek treatment because the signs and symptoms of endometriosis can be masked by the same signs and symptoms during menstruation. These symptoms can include:

- Painful menstrual cycle that increases in severity through time

- Pain during and/or after intercourse

- Pain during bowel movement

- Dull, heavy feeling along the pelvic area and lower back that can occur anytime, without warning. In some women, the condition is experienced throughout the day. Ortho tri cyclen birth control pills

To answer “what is endometriosis,” it is one of the common causes of pelvic pain or discomfort in women. It is also among the leading reasons why women have to undergo laparoscopic surgery. There are medications prescribed to limit the pain brought about by endometriosis and may even prevent its growth. NSAID’s are generally given to lessen the pain and inflammation around the pelvic area. Birth control pills are also prescribed to help prevent proliferation of endometrial implants, but they are only given to women who have no plans of getting pregnant. If NSAID’s and birth control pills do not work, some hormonal therapy is prescribed to limit the proliferation and even shrink the size of endometrial implants.

The problem with these hormonal therapies is that they induce a state somewhat similar to menopause where your menstrual cycle is completely halted. Side effects of these drugs are similar to the discomforts experienced by women in menopausal age, and they even increase the risk of osteoporosis. Hormonal replacement therapy for endometriosis includes gonadotropin-releasing hormone analogs (GnRH analogs), Progestin, and Danazol. These medications must only be taken with the recommendation of the doctor and must be taken according to physician’s instructions.

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