What is Endometriosis?

March is Endometriosis Awareness Month!

What is Endometriosis? 

Endometriosis is a condition characterized by endometrial like tissue growth outside the uterus and sometimes inside the uterus too. It affects 1 in 10 individuals of childbearing age, and can lead to conception challenges. Approximately 5 in 10 individuals with endometriosis experience infertility and chronic pelvic pain. Although the exact causes of endometriosis remain unknown, individuals with a family history of the condition may be at a higher risk of developing it.

What are the Symptoms of Endometriosis?

Symptoms include chronic pelvic pain, excessive menstrual bleeding, clots, pain during intercourse, painful bowel movements, digestive issues, back pain during menstruation, and infertility. Endometriosis can be categorized into different stages based on its location, extent, and the amount of tissue involved.

How is Endometriosis Diagnosed? 

The gold standard for diagnosing endometriosis is a surgical procedure called laparoscopy, which allows for the examination of organs within the abdomen. Ultrasound and MRI scans can also be utilized for diagnosis. It takes people on average 6-10 years to get a diagnosis of endometriosis. The reason for this is due to many factors for example normalization of menstrual pain, broad range of symptoms and length of time to be referred to a specialist and worked up. 

How is Endometriosis Treated?

Treatment typically involves a multifaceted approach, including medication, surgery dietary and lifestyle changes aimed at reducing inflammation, managing pain, supporting overall physical and mental health. The treatment strategy may vary depending on the severity of symptoms and the stage of the disease. 

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