Endometriosis can lead to irregular periods and infertility.
Endometriosis is defined as the presence of normal tissue in an abnormal place. The endometrium (lining) of the uterus spreads to the pelvis through the tubes and settles most commonly in the pelvis. Like the lining of the uterus, the endometrium grows under the influence of the major female hormone oestrogen. The most common sites in the pelvis are on and below the ovaries, and deep in the pelvis behind the uterus, called the Pouch of Douglas. Here the endometriosis grows on the ligaments behind the uterus and on the vagina and rectum. It also may grow on the bladder, appendix, abdominal wall and even sometimes in the upper abdomen.
Remember:- Endometriosis is an abnormal occurrence with no definite reason.
The risk of endometriosis increases with the early onset of periods, heavy prolonged, frequent periods and family history of endometriosis. A daily exercise regime and the use of oral contraceptive pills helps reduce the risk of the disease. Additionally, pregnancy has been proved to reduce the risk too.
Usually, your menstrual history itself is enough to make a diagnosis. Any cyclical symptom may indicate the presence of the disease. Please note:-
You should seek medical advice whenever:-
Laparoscopy with removal and examination of the affected tissue is the only definitive way of diagnosing endometriosis.
Ultrasonography can detect only ovarian cysts whereas CT and MRI cannot detect the condition fully.
Infertility may be the only symptom in women with endometriosis. Though the disease often commences in the teens, unfortunately diagnosis in young women is often delayed because of difficulty in distinguishing endometriosis from the more common type of menstrual pain. Excess of prostaglandins and the hesitation of doctors to perform a laparoscopy to detect the disease contribute to delayed diagnosis
Endometriosis is commonly associated with 30% of women who have infertility. Endometriosis causes infertility in different ways.