Endometriosis is like that annoying, eager-to-please colleague, never quite content with his corner and always vying for the front-row seat to the big gun. Only for endometriosis, the front-row seat happens to be outside your uterus.
Endometriosis is an afflictive condition in which tissue that usually sheathes the uterus begins to grow outside it. The condition can spread to the ovaries, fallopian tubes and pelvis. In some cases, it can sweep beyond the pelvic organs. Aside from severe pain during and between menstrual cycles, endometriosis has few other symptoms, because the displaced endometrial tissue continues to go through the regular motions of a menstrual cycle: it thickens, implodes and bleeds each month.
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However, it has no way of escaping the body and remains contained, leading to ovarian cysts, scar tissue and adhesions. Endometriosis can lead to infertility, but there are suitable fertility treatments available that can counter its effects. It shares many of its symptoms with pelvic inflammatory disease (PID).
The most obvious symptom of endometriosis is pelvic pain, which usually peaks during menstruation. While many women feel discomfort during their period, endometriosis-related pain can be crippling. Some women with the condition have noted that the pain only worsens with time. Common symptoms of endometriosis are included below.
Painful periods Pelvic pain and cramping, abdominal and lower back pain
Painful urination Pain while urinating or passing stools, especially during periods
Abnormally heavy bleeding Excessive bleeding during periods and intermittent bleeding in between
Painful intercourse Pain during or after intercourse
Infertility Often only diagnosed when women are ready to start a family
Miscellaneous symptoms Bloating, nausea, diarrhoea, fatigue and constipation, especially during periods
It’s important to note that chronic pain isn’t a surefire sign of endometriosis. Often, women with severe endometriosis have little or no pain, while those with milder forms experience greater symptoms. If you suspect that you have endometriosis, meet a doctor on Cloudnine for a thorough evaluation. The sooner you catch the problem, the sooner you can treat it.
Must Read: How does endometriosis affect your fertility?
A crusade against endometriosis is typically rooted in a spate of measures. Your doctor may recommend a combination of tools such as lifestyle changes, a change in diet and hormone replacement therapy to ease the symptoms. While medical and surgical intervention can help in some cases, lifestyle and dietary changes need to be practised at home.
There is no concrete evidence to suggest that a healthy lifestyle can mitigate the effects of endometriosis, but women who have successfully managed the condition and beaten infertility have demonstrated the merits of a positive way of living. Regular exercise, adequate sleep and good nutrition form the golden trifecta for a healthy lifestyle. As far as nutrition goes, it is advisable that you meet a nutritionist to create a customised meal plan for yourself. A balanced diet can act as essential fuel on your way to conquering the condition.
Anti-inflammatory drugs can help curb the pain caused by endometriosis. Your doctor may also advise birth control options (even if you are not sexually active), depending on the severity of your pain.
To Know More: About Finding the END in ENDometriosis
Hormone therapy may be used on its own for milder cases of endometriosis, or in conjunction with surgery for more severe cases. Hormone therapy can arrest the growth of endometrial tissue and also temporarily suspend menstrual cycles.
Endometriosis can keep you from conceiving naturally, but there is an assortment of treatment plans that can set you on the road to parenthood. Meet a fertility specialist on Cloudnine to discuss your options for starting a family.
Must Read: Endometriosis – Causes, Symptoms and Treatments
Endometriosis doesn’t deserve a front-row seat in your pelvis, much less in your life. Sequester it to the corner that it deserves. On Cloudnine, we’ll show you how.