Endometriosis: what is it?

Endometriosis affected 5.5 million women and girls in North America alone and is common a cause of female infertility. Certainly not every case of endometriosis causes fertility problems, but women with the disease are more inclined to have problems with fertilization. Besides it is a progressive disease that gets worse over time and can reoccur after treatment. Among possible symptoms of this disease are painful menstrual periods, abnormal menstrual bleeding, pain during or after sexual intercourse. If you have any of them youd better see your doctor.

Endometriosis means that endometrial tissue that normally lines the inside of the uterus, grows outside the uterus attaching to other organs in the abdominal cavity including the ovaries and fallopian tubes.
No matter the endometrial tissue is outside or inside your uterus it responds to your menstrual cycle hormones in the same way.  Endometrium swells and thickens, then sheds to mark the beginning of the next cycle. If the endometrial tissue is outside uterus, the blood has no place to go, resulting in pools of blood. It may cause an inflammation and then forms scar tissue. The scars results in blocking the fallopian tubes and interference in ovulation.

Ovarian cysts called endometrioma are another result of endometriosis. It is not evident but endometriosis may also create an environment in the local abdominal cavity that is hostile to egg fertilization and embryo development.

The causes of endometriosis arent still determined. A few theories point out different possible causes. Among them are alterations in a womans immune system, genetic birth abnormality in which endometrial cells develop outside the uterus during fetal development and the theory that suggest back up of some of the menstrual tissue through the fallopian tubes into the abdomen. Scientists are still discussing whether endometriosis cause is specifically genetic or environmental.

To confirm a diagnosis of endometriosis after a medical history review and pelvic exam physicians use a laparoscopy, an outpatient surgical procedure. After that your condition will be classified as stage 1 (minimal), stage 2 (mild), stage 3 (moderate) or stage 4 (extensive). This classification is based on the amount of scarring and diseased tissue found. The stage of endometriosis influence the treatment your physician will determine. It may include medication, surgery, or a combination of both.
A combination of minimally invasive surgery and controlled ovarian hyperstimulation, along with intrauterine insemination has been brought good results in many cases.
As endometriosis has the progressive nature and are apparently connected to the immune system, consider living a healthy lifestyle. Many women have found relief through complementary and nutritional approaches.