Diagnosis and Treatment of endometriosis
What is Endometriosis ?
This is a medical condition where the tissue that usually grows inside the uterus (womb) is found growing in an abnormal anatomical location like growing outside of the uterus. Endometriosis is a common condition and sometimes it might not display any signs or symptoms, otherwise, it might lead to painful menstruation. It is also associated with infertility.
This condition usually occurs inside the Fallopian tubes and outside of the tubes and ovaries, another location is the outer surface of the uterus and intestines, and anywhere on the pelvic cavity surface.
Endometriosis can lead to the following complications if left untreated:
- Infertility, which can affect 50 percent of those with the condition.
- Increased risk of developing ovarian cancer or endometriosis-associated adenocarcinoma
- Ovarian cysts
- Scar tissue and adhesion development
- Intestinal and bladder complications
Signs and Symptoms
Some of the signs and symptoms that patients from Endometriosis experience are:
- Painful periods (dysmenorrhea).
- Pelvic pain and cramping might begin after the period and can extend to several days into the period
- Pain during intercourse
- Pain during bowel movements or urination
- Excessive bleeding
- Fatigue, diarrhea, constipation, bloating or nausea, especially during menstrual periods.
The doctor usually diagnoses endometriosis and other related medical conditions that can cause pelvic pain, by performing diagnostic tests. The different endometriosis diagnosis tests that are used to check for physical clues of endometriosis are:
- Pelvic exam
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
The doctor might recommend different options for Endometriosis Treatment. Some of the therapies that doctors usually opt for are:
- Hormone Treatments: Some of the hormone treatments that doctors recommend are:
- Hormonal contraceptives, Birth control pills, patches, and vaginal rings help control the hormones responsible for the buildup of endometrial tissue each month
- Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (Gn-RH) agonists and antagonists
- Progestin therapy
- Aromatase inhibitors
- Laparoscopic Surgery
Surgeons usually recommend Laparoscopy for both the diagnosis and treatment of endometriosis. This procedure allows for the observation of the reproductive organs without the need for a large abdominal incision.
During the procedure, the surgeon will make a small incision near the patient’s belly button and will fill the abdomen first with CO2 gas to get a better look at the internal organs.
Then the doctor will insert a laparoscope, which is a thin tube with a video camera at one end, to look for scarring on the uterus, ovaries, fallopian tubes, bladder, and other organs.
The surgeon will then remove any endometriosis scarring and lesions during the laparoscopy using specialised tiny surgical instruments.
Prevention of Endometriosis
A patient can prevent Endometriosis by adding the following changes to their diet.
Authored By Dr. Sunil Eshwar
Medical disclaimer: For information purposes only
- Increase Omega-3 Fat intake
- Avoid Transfats
- Cut Down on Red Meat
- Eat Plenty of Fruits, Vegetables, and Whole Grains
- Limit Caffeine and Alcohol
- Cut down on Processed Foods
- Try a Gluten-Free or Low-FODMAP Diet
- Soy May Be Beneficial