How Endometriosis Affects Conception

Endometriosis is really a common, yet poorly understood disease. It can strike women of any socioeconomic class, age, or race. It is estimated that between 10 and 20 percent of American women of childbearing age have endometriosis.

While some women with endometriosis may have severe pelvic pain, other people who have the condition haven’t any symptoms. Nothing about endometriosis is simple, and you can find no absolute cures. The disease make a difference a woman’s whole existence–her ability to work, her capability to reproduce, and her relationships with her mate, her child, and everyone around her.

What is Endometriosis?

The name endometriosis originates from the word “endometrium,” the tissue that lines the inside of the uterus. If a woman isn’t pregnant, this tissue builds up and is shed each month. It really is discharged as menstrual flow at the end of each cycle. In endometriosis, tissue that looks and acts like endometrial tissue is available outside the uterus, usually in the abdominal cavity. Endometrial tissue residing outside the uterus responds to the menstrual cycle in a way that is comparable to just how endometrium usually responds in the uterus.

At the end of each cycle, when hormones cause the uterus to shed its endometrial lining, endometrial tissue growing beyond your uterus will break apart and bleed. However, unlike menstrual fluid from the uterus, that is discharged from your body during menstruation, blood from the misplaced uterus has no place to go. Tissues surrounding the area of endometriosis may become inflamed or swollen. The inflammation may produce scar tissue formation around the section of endometriosis. These endometrial tissue sites may become what are called “lesions,” “implants,” “nodules,” or “growths.”

Endometriosis is most often within the ovaries, on the fallopian tubes, and the ligaments supporting the uterus, in the inner area between the vagina and rectum, on the outer surface of the uterus, and on the lining of the pelvic cavity. Infrequently, endometrial growths are found on the intestines or in the rectum, on the bladder, vagina cervix, and vulva (external genitals), or in abdominal surgery scars, Very rarely, endometrial growths have already been found beyond your abdomen, in the thigh, arm, or lung.

Physicians may use stages to spell it out the severity of endometriosis. Endometrial implants that are small and not widespread are believed minimal or mild endometriosis. Moderate endometriosis implies that larger implants or even more extensive scar tissue exists. Severe endometriosis is used to spell it out large implants and extensive scar tissue formation.

What are the Symptoms?

Most commonly, the symptoms of endometriosis start years after menstrual periods begin. Over the years, the symptoms tend to gradually increase as the endometriosis areas upsurge in size. After menopause, the abnormal implants shrink away and the outward symptoms subside. The most frequent symptom is pain, specially excessive menstrual cramps (dysmenorrhea) which might be felt in the abdomen or lower back or pain during or after sexual activity (dyspareunia). Infertility occurs in about 30-40 percent of women with endometriosis.

Rarely, the irritation caused by endometrial implants may progress into infection or abscesses causing pain in addition to the menstrual cycle.

Endometrial patches can also be tender to the touch or pressure, the intestinal pain may also derive from endometrial patches on the walls of the colon or intestine. The quantity of pain is not always related to the severity of the disease. Some women with severe endometriosis have no pain; while others with just a couple of small growths have incapacitating pain.

Endometrial cancer is quite rarely connected with endometriosis, occurring in under 1 percent of women who have the disease. When it can occur, it is usually found in more advanced patches of endometriosis in older women and the long-term outlook in these unusual cases is reasonably good.

How is Endometriosis Linked to Fertility Problems?

Severe endometriosis with extensive scarring and organ damage may affect fertility. It is considered one of the three significant reasons of female infertility.

However, unsuspected or mild endometriosis is a common finding among infertile women. How this kind of endometriosis affects fertility continues to be not clear.

As the pregnancy rates for patients with endometriosis remain less than those of the general population, most patients with endometriosis do not experience fertility problems. We do not have a clear knowledge of the cause-effect relationship of endometriosis and infertility

What is the Cause of Endometriosis?

The cause of endometriosis continues to be unknown. One theory is that during menstruation a few of the menstrual tissue backs up through the fallopian tubes into the abdomen, where it implants and grows. Another theory shows that endometriosis might be a genetic process or that certain families could have predisposing factors to endometriosis. In the latter view, endometriosis sometimes appears because the tissue development process gone awry.

In line with the theory of traditional chinese medicine, endometriosis is really a disease which is caused by the stagnation of blood. Blood stagnation may occur due to a number of abortions or lower abdominal or pelvic surgeries.

Additionally, engaging in sexual activity during menstruation may more than likely over time cause blood stagnation. Emotional trauma, severe stress, physical or emotional abuse can all lead to the stagnation of blood.

Additionally, diet may be a precipitating factor. The constant, long term ingestion of cold foods can congeal blood and thus donate to the stagnation thereof. Cold foods include raw vegetable, ices, ice cream, ice in drinks, frozen yogurt, etc. Remember, cold congeals. Consider what happens to signs of endometriosis of water when devote the freezer. It turns to ice.

The blood is affected similarly. That is to say, it congeals, doesn’t flow smoothly and will form endometrial adhesions, chocolate cysts, uterine fibroids. Regardless of the reason behind endometriosis, its progression is influenced by various stimulating factors such as for example hormones or growth factors. In this regard, investigators are studying the role of the disease fighting capability in activating cells that could secrete factors which, subsequently, stimulate endometriosis.

As well as these new hypotheses, investigators are continuing to check into previous theories that endometriosis is a disease influenced by delaying childbearing. Because the hormones created by the placenta during pregnancy prevent ovulation, the progress of endometriosis is slowed or stopped during pregnancy and the total amount of lifetime cycles is reduced for a female who had multiple pregnancies.

How is Endometriosis Diagnosed?

Diagnosis of endometriosis begins with a gynecologist evaluating the patient’s medical history. A complete physical exam, including a pelvic examination, is also necessary. However, diagnosis of endometriosis is complete when proven by a laparoscopy, a minor surgical procedure in which a laparoscope (a tube with a light in it) is inserted into a small precise incision in the abdomen.

The laparoscope is moved round the abdomen, which includes been distended with skin tightening and gas to make the organs easier to see. The surgeon can then check the condition of the abdominal organs and start to see the endometrial implants. The laparoscopy will show the locations, extent, and size of the growths and can help the patient and her doctor make better-informed decisions about treatment. Endometriosis is a long-standing disease that often develops slowly.

What is the Treatment?

While the treatment for endometriosis has varied over the years, doctors now concur that if the symptoms are mild, no more treatment apart from medication for pain could be needed. Endometriosis is really a progressive disorder.

I believe that by not treating endometriosis it’ll get worse. Treatment should immediately after a positive diagnosis is manufactured. The pain associated with endometriosis can be diminished by using acupuncture and herbal medicine. I have treated many women with endometriosis and also have successfully alleviated pain and slowed up growth and recurrence of endometriosis.

For those patients with mild or minimal endometriosis who wish to become pregnant, doctors are advising that, with regards to the age of the individual and the amount of pain linked to the disease, the best course of action is to have a trial period of unprotected intercourse for six months to 1 12 months. If pregnancy does not occur within that time, then further treatment could be needed. Again, these patients should think about herbal medicine to aid in the process of conception.