The month of March is dedicated to bringing awareness to Endometriosis, the devastating condition that affects so many women each and every year. This is a very painful condition that often goes undiagnosed and it can cause a host of unpleasant and unwanted symptoms such as extreme pain, bleeding and infertility. As time goes on, these symptoms usually get worse and many women choose to have a hysterectomy or have an ovary removed in order to decrease their symptoms. Not many people know what endometriosis actually is and many women may even be having symptoms of it without knowing what the issue actually could be. Let’s take a look at some of the basics related to endometriosis:
What Is Endometriosis?
There is a lining of tissue inside of each woman’s uterus that is called the endometrium lining. The cells found inside of this tissue are unique only to the uterus and when this tissue responds to the ebbs and flows of estrogen and progesterone, it will bleed as part of a woman’s period. When endometriosis is present, this tissue can actually escape out of the uterus and begin to grow on the outside lining of the uterus, on the ovaries, on the fallopian tubes and also nearby organs. In some rare cases, endometriosis has even affected the lungs and other organs. As hormones fluctuate, this tissue will respond just like the inside of the uterus does and a woman will bleed out of this tissue. This blood is not lost as part of a period though, and being trapped in the body, it will begin to form scar tissue and lesions that will cause a lot of pain and wreak havoc to the body. Because of these issues, many women with endometriosis are infertile or have menstrual issues each month.
How Severe Is Endometriosis?
Some women can experience very mild symptoms associated with endometriosis while other women are left in bed for days when they have a flare up of their condition. Some women may be reading this and may not even be aware that they are currently dealing with endometriosis. Doctors will run a number of tests that include blood work and sonograms in order to diagnose endometriosis and to formulate a care plan moving forward. If infertility is an issue, women can often go through treatments to increase their chances of getting pregnant. This really depends on the severity and the projected outcome from a trusted medical professional.
What Is The Cause?
Currently it is unknown what the actual cause of endometriosis is but it definitely is genetic. Your chances of developing endometriosis are much higher if your mother or grandmother suffered from it when they were younger. When menopause hits, the symptoms often get much better and surgical intervention can play a big role as well. There are certain chemicals that can cause endometriosis as well if a pregnant woman was exposed to them or a woman was exposed to them extensively during her lifetime.
During the month of March, it is important to educate yourself on endometriosis. You may have symptoms that you decide to have looked at or you may know somebody with endometriosis and knowing a bit more about this condition can help you fully understand what they are actually going through more. While no known cause or cure is known, future research and dedication to learning more about this condition will go very far to helping better diagnose patients but also to help prevent and treat patients suffering from debilitating and devastating endometriosis as well.