According to the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (RCOG), endometriosis is one of the most difficult gynecological diseases to diagnose. In fact, it can take upward of 7 years to diagnose someone with endometriosis, because this condition is wrought with myths, taboos and a general lack of awareness.
What is endometriosis?
Endometriosis is a disorder in which tissue that is similar to uterine tissue—endometrium, lies at a site, other than the uterus. This ectopic endometrium responds to the cyclical hormonal changes, and often bleeds, just like the endometrium in the uterus during the period. However, this blood has no way to leave the body, and often become trapped to cause pain and inflammation. Sometimes, this can form cysts, and cause irritation in the neighboring areas. Consequently, there is abnormal scar tissue, bands of adhesions, and cysts in the pelvic region.
Endometriosis is a condition which can be quite troublesome for the patient, and needs management by a competent gynecologist. Often, there is extreme pain during periods, and fertility issues later in life. Fortunately, there are good treatment options available for the patient.
What are the symptoms of endometriosis?
The main feature of endometriosis is painful menstrual period. This is also known as dysmenorrhea. The pain and cramping is often moderate to severe in intensity and can last for days.
Dyspareunia: another feature of endometriosis is dyspareunia, or pain during sexual intercourse.
Infertility: due to the inflammatory changes in the pelvic region and formation of adhesions, infertility is a common problem with endometriosis. In fact, for many women, seeking treatment for infertility is the reason they get diagnosed with endometriosis.
Pain with urination or bowel movement: due to the involvement of the pelvic region, there can be pain with bowel movement or urination. This is more prominent during menstruation, than any other time of the month.
Excessive bleeding: unusually heavy menstrual periods are seen with this disease. Some women also experience bleeding between cycles—intermenstrual bleeding.
Management of endometriosis
As with any disease, a healthy lifestyle can help to slow the progression of disease. Research suggests that a diet higher in trans-fat can adversely affect endometriosis. This means that such women should avoid fast food, processed food or fried food. In some scenarios, women who eliminated gluten from their diet, found decreased endometriosis associated pain. Additionally, stay active and doing mild exercise daily, like walking, helped to reduce pain in some women, by decreasing the level of estrogen in the body.
For the discomfort and pain caused by endometriosis, medication such as over-the-counter painkillers, NSAIDs and ibuprofen are recommended. For more severe intensity pain, you can get stronger prescription drugs from gynecologist in Karachi. Other therapeutic options include birth control pills, GnRH agonists, progesterone pills and intrauterine devices (IUDs).
The most definitive therapy is surgery, which can seek to remove the areas of endometriosis, but on the discretion of your healthcare provider complete hysterectomy, with oophorectomy may be necessary. This procedure involves the removal of the uterus as well as the ovaries.