Endometriosis is a very painful reproductive condition that affects millions of women worldwide. Unfortunately, it is still not fully understood and treatment success is highly case-dependent. Let's take a look at some of the answers to common questions about endometriosis.
What is Endometriosis?
Endometriosis is a complex reproductive condition that causes endometrial tissue to grow outside the uterus in places like the ovaries, bowel or even the lungs. This abnormal overgrowth causes inflammation and pain. Endometriosis is not considered an autoimmune disease, despite the immunological abnormalities it causes. It can be a very frustrating disorder fraught with treatments that don’t work well.
How Many People Have Endometriosis?
Approximately 5 million
American women have endometriosis (nearly 1 in 10). Endometriosis is most common amongst women in their 30’s and 40’s, but can occur any age between menses and menopause (sometimes even after menopause).
Can Women With Endometriosis Have Children?
Endometriosis can adversely affect fertility. Some women have to undergo fertility treatment or adjust their medications to better chances of pregnancy.
What Complications Can Endometriosis Cause?
Endometriosis can cause lesions or scar tissue that sometimes requires surgery to eradicate. Women with endometriosis may be at greater risk of developing certain types of cancer.
What are Common Symptoms of Endometriosis?
Symptoms of endometriosis
include: pain during and after sex or during ovulation, heavy bleeding, fatigue. It can also significantly impact mental health. Pregnancy or a hysterectomy can sometimes relieve symptoms but not in all cases.
How Is Endometriosis Treated?
Endometriosis can be a very frustrating condition
as treatment isn’t effective for everyone. Doctors unfortunately don’t all agree on all aspects about the condition and its treatment. Synthetic hormone treatments may help some of the symptoms of endometrioses but they will not cure it long term.
There is so much we don’t yet know about the painful condition, but medical researchers are still hard at work to get more answers. Thanks for visiting EMC!