Health

Endometriosis

Endometriosis

An important health issue for women is that of endometriosis.

It is a condition in which there is tissue growth surrounding the uterus and other areas where it shouldn’t be. The extra tissue growth can be found and located in the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and other areas that surround the uterus. Excess tissue growth also has been located on the vagina, cervix, vulva, and the other regions surrounding the genitals. This extra growth can cause pain because the growth bleeds. This is similar to the lining of the uterus during a menstrual period. Since the blood cannot leave the body quickly, it causes swelling and pain in the areas where the extra tissue is.

According to womenshealth.gov, 11% of women living in the United States have endometriosis, which is equivalent to 6.5 million women in the United States. Endometriosis can affect a girl or a woman that has had her menstrual period, but it is more prevalent among women who are in their 30’s and 40’s. It is more likely for women to get endometriosis if their menstrual cycles are short (27 days or fewer), if their menstrual period is longer than seven days, or if there is a health problem that prevents the normal flow of menstrual blood.

There are some significant symptoms of endometriosis. Pain is the most common symptom.

Women will feel different types of pain with endometriosis. The pain can range from painful menstrual cramps, chronic pain in the lower back and pelvis, pain occurring during or after vaginal sex, abdominal pain, pain that occurs while urinating and having painful bowel movements. In some rare instances, blood is found in the urine or stool. Another severe symptom is excess bleeding or spotting between menstrual periods. If this happens, it is essential to check in with a doctor. Other symptoms include not being able to become pregnant and digestive problems (especially during periods).

There is still some speculation as to what is the cause of endometriosis.

Some researchers think that these factors may explain why endometriosis occurs: hormones, previous surgery in the abdominal area, problems in the immune system, genetic factors, and problems with menstrual period flow. However, there are methods of prevention and treatment.

Even though there is no established way to prevent endometriosis, you can lower the level of estrogen in your body to reduce your chances of getting it. You can lower your level of estrogen by exercising regularly (more than 4 hours a week), not drinking an excess amount of alcohol, not drinking an excess amount of drinks with caffeine, and using some form of hormonal birth control. If you do have endometriosis, there is no cure, but there are ways to alleviate the symptoms. Hormonal birth control is one way to help with symptoms if a patient is not trying to get pregnant. Another option for patients who do not want to get pregnant is an IUD, which stands for intrauterine device. An IUD can help with the pain and bleeding.

If a patient with endometriosis intends to get pregnant, a medicine called GnRH (gonadotropin-releasing hormone) agonist may be recognized. It can help regulate the growth of endometriosis. Surgery is also another method of treatment to remove the extra tissue.

 

If you have more questions about endometriosis, go to this website: https://www.womenshealth.gov/a-z-topics/endometriosis

 

Credits:

“Endometriosis.” Womenshealth.gov, Office on Women’s Health in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 16 Mar. 2018, www.womenshealth.gov/a-z-topics/endometriosis.

 

Kristen

Kristen is a contributor for Girl Spring. Her posts focus on Girl Spring updates and current events.

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