Endometriosis is a word related to endometrium and they in turn, come from the roots ‘endo’ meaning inside and ‘metra’ meaning womb, making up endometriosis, implying the cells of endometrium abnormally appear and flourish outside the uterus cavity. So what exactly is endometrium? It is a gynecological medical condition suffered by women affecting the uterus. It is a condition wherein the tissue normally lining the uterus grows in other areas of the body like ovaries, rectum, and bladder, behind the uterus or on the bowels, causing pain in the abdomen, lower back or pelvic areas, possible infertility and irregular bleeding.
Generally, many women show no symptoms and hence, only tests can determine its presence. The common textbook endometriosis symptoms may be chronic pelvic pain, painful periods and heavy bleeding, pain during or before menstruation, pain during intercourse, pain during bowel movements and abnormal cramps. Sometimes, mild symptoms may never need a treatment even if the condition exists and it may cease with menopause. These symptoms may also be experienced by women with increasing age as a result of hormonal changes, weight gain or stress factors.
While there are no definite causes, the suggestive causes may be estrogens, retrograde menstruation, Müllerianosis, coelomic metaplasia, heredity, transplantation, weak immune system, environment or birth defect. Endometriosis is diagnosed by evaluating symptoms with medical history and pelvic examination testing cysts, thickening pelvic area or unusual tenderness. An ultrasound may also be used or surgical laparoscopy may also be done. A biopsy with the tissue is also done to reach a diagnosis.
Endometriosis does not have definite cure but the treatment can be drug therapy or surgery. It is mostly decided on the severity of the symptoms, size and location of endometrial growth, age and decision about pregnancy. The treatments only improve the symptoms but do not give a permanent relief.. Even after hormone therapy or surgery, endometriosis may recur.