Definition of endometriosis
Endometriosis is a common condition of women. The uterus is covered by a mucosa; however, in endometriosis, uterine lining islands that are implanted outside the uterus. These foci of endometriosis may be in the belly (the ovaries, bowel or bladder) or elsewhere as to the skin or lungs.
As the uterus, endometriosis these maps undergo hormonal changes in the menstrual cycle and cause pain and bleeding on each cycle.
Causes and risk of endometriosis
Endometriosis is a common gynecological disorder affecting about 10-15% of women of childbearing age. For women affected by infertility, half would have endometriosis. Physical pain but also psychological peppering the lives of women victims of endometriosis. The exact causes of endometriosis are little known; genetic and environmental factors (dioxin) probably play a role.
Symptoms of endometriosis
The lining of the uterus is called the endometrium. The endometrium responds to hormonal processes of the menstrual cycle: cycle start growing and after ovulation, stopping growth and finally menarche hormonal fall.
If the endometrium is found outside the uterus, it defines endometriosis and is subject to the same rules.
Endometriosis then changes to worsen because the menstrual blood accumulates in the affected areas, including the abdomen, creating local inflammatory reactions. Distance, particles of uterine lining can be transported by the lymphatic channels or through the bloodstream to other organs (lungs).
What are the symptoms of endometriosis?
Endometriosis can be very discreet or asymptomatic. Otherwise, the pain is in the foreground. Their cyclical nature should suggest endometriosis. It can include dysmenorrhea, that is to say, a pain occurring during and at the end of rules, dyspareunia (pain occurring during sexual intercourse), chronic pain (stomach, pelvis ...) and finally painful defecation or painful urination.
Sterility is also a revelation endometriosis mode; sometimes infertile patients have no symptoms other than their infertility, and this is exploration by laparoscopy which reveals endometriosis.
Chronic pain and often diffuse weigh on the morale of patients, which then have chronic fatigue and mood swings.
With what should we be confused?
Lumps of the ovaries as functional cysts may falsely suggest the diagnosis of endometriosis. Imaging or surgical exploration will make the difference.
Do not confuse PMS with its accompanying pain and discomfort, which disappears in a few days. This syndrome regresses under treatment and do not worsen over time, in contrast to endometriosis.
Will it possible prevention?
There is no preventive treatment of endometriosis.
Pain, like the pain of the rules, will eventually be relieved by applying a hot water bottle on the painful area.
The particular hormonal treatments (progestin) with side effects, it should be prevented. Weight gain will be limited through healthy food hygiene: three meals a day, no snacking, limiting sugars. Similarly, lipid metabolism disorders (fats) will be notified by reducing dietary fat (meats, cheese, cream ...).
When to consult?
Since endometriosis is manifested by various symptoms, the diagnosis is often delayed, at the stage of infertility or of disturbances of other organs. For recurrent pain, punctuated by the rules, it is essential to quickly consult your doctor or gynecologist.
What does the doctor?
The clinical examination by the doctor is often disappointing; it can evoke endometriosis on the cyclical nature of the symptoms. Bluish and reddish cysts can be seen on the cervix during a pelvic examination (speculum examination, vaginal).
Additional tests are used to make the diagnosis Ultrasound is often proposed and can find an ovarian cyst;. MRI can also provide valuable information. However, the key consideration is laparoscopy performed in the operating room under general anesthesia; biopsies made during surgery confirmed the diagnosis, and surgical removal of endometriosis lesions or targeted hormonal treatment can be achieved.
In all cases, the treatments are individual and tailored to each patient.
Analgesics or nonsteroidal antiinflammatory fight against pain; birth control pills may also improve symptoms.
How to prepare for my next visit?
Proposed treatments are individual and tailored to each case. So, sometimes it is necessary to "test" some treatments before finding the most suitable; discuss its effectiveness with your doctor.
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