Endometriosis is the growth of cells similar to those that form the inside of the uterus (endometrial cells), but in a location outside of the uterus. Endometrial cells are the same cells that are shed each month during menstruation. Endometriosis is a common health problem in women. In women with this problem, tissue that looks and acts like the lining of the uterus grows outside of the uterus in other areas. These areas can be called growths, tumors, implants, lesions, or nodulesIt facilitates collaboration and information sharing between women with endometriosis. Endometriosis is estimated to affect over one million women (estimates range from 3% to 18% of women) in the United States.
It is one of the leading causes of pelvic pain and reasons for laparoscopic surgery and hysterectomy in this country. While the mean age at diagnosis is around 25-30 years, endometriosis has been reported in girls as young as 11 years of age. Endometriosis is rare in postmenopausal women. Endometrial cells (loosened during menstruation) may “back up” through the fallopian tubes into the pelvis, where they implant and grow in the pelvic or abdominal cavities. This is called retrograde-menstruation. When endometrial tissue is located elsewhere in your body, it continues to act in its normal way: It thickens, breaks down and bleeds each month as your hormone levels rise and fall. Because there’s nowhere for the blood from this displaced tissue to exit your body.
It becomes trapped.Trapped blood may lead to the growth of cysts. Cysts, in turn, may form scar tissue and adhesions abnormal tissue that binds organs together. This process can cause pain in the area of misplaced tissue, often the pelvis, especially during your period. Scars and adhesions related to endometriosis also can cause fertility problems. Pain is one of the most common symptoms of endometriosis. Usually the pain is in the abdomen, lower back, and pelvis. Some women have no pain, even though their disease affects large areas. Other women with endometriosis have severe pain even though they have only a few small growths. Women with endometriosis may also have gastrointestinal problems such as diarrhea, constipation, or bloating, especially during their periods.
Causes of Endometriosis
5.Impact of toxins.
Symptoms of Endometriosis
1.Pain with sex.
4.Painful urination during periods.
Treatment of Endometriosis
Progesterone counteracts estrogen and inhibits the growth of the endometrium. Such therapy can reduce or eliminate menstruation in a controlled and reversible fashion. Progestins are chemical variants of natural progesterone. Gonadotropin releasing hormone agonists (GnRH agonists) induce a profound hypoestrogenism by decreasing FSH and LH levels. While quite effective, they induce unpleasant menopausal symptoms, and over time may lead to osteoporosis. Laparotomy can be used for more extensive surgery either in attempt to restore normal anatomy, or at least preserve reproductive potential. Danazol (Danocrine) and gestrinone are suppressive steroids with some androgenic activity. Both agents inhibit the growth of endometriosis but their use remains limited as they may cause hirsutism. There has been some research done at Case Western Reserve University on a topical Danocrine, applied locally, which has not produced the hirsutism characteristics. Pseudopregnancy can be created using oral contraceptives containing estrogen and progesterone. Women take the medicine consistently for 6 to 9 months. This type of therapy relieves most of the symptoms, but does not prevent scarring from the disease.
Avoid coffee and alcohol. Conservative surgery removes endometrial growths, scar tissue and adhesions without removing your reproductive organs. In laparoscopic surgery, a slender viewing instrument (laparoscope) is inserted through a small incision near your navel. The laparoscope is equipped with a laser, a cautery an instrument that destroys tissue with heat or small surgical instruments. Melatonin and serotonin are increased by meditation, and the stress hormone cortisol is decreased. Oral contraceptive pills (estrogen and progesterone in combination) are also sometimes used to treat endometriosis. The most common combination used is in the form of the oral contraceptive pill (OCP). Treatment of endometriosis has involved the administration of drugs known as aromatase inhibitors (anastrozole [Arimidex] and letrozole [Femara] are examples). These drugs act by interrupting local estrogen formation within the endometriosis implants themselves. They also inhibit estrogen production in the ovary, brain, and other sources, such as adipose tissue.