What is endometriosis?
One in ten women in the US are affected by endometriosis.
In this disorder, tissue that would normally grow inside the uterus, grows outside near the ovaries or abdomen, or the lining of the pelvic cavity. This misplaced tissue sill thickens and breaks down and shed, but has no way to exit the body. This is when the tissue can develop into growths and cysts.
Symptoms of endometriosis include excessive bleeding between periods or heavy painful periods, painful intercourse, pelvic cramping, difficulty with urinating or bowel movements, and infertility. Some people have reported experiencing fatigue, bloating, nausea, constipation, or diarrhea during their periods.
Endometriosis is often misdiagnosed as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or ovarian cysts. Another complicating factor is that people with endometriosis often have IBS as well, so it can go undiagnosed.
Some causes of endometriosis include immune disorders, scars from surgery (such as a c-section or hysterectomy), embryonic cell growth, or retrograde menstruation, where blood flows back into the fallopian tubes and pelvic cavity.
There is evidence that genetics may play a heavy role, as women with relatives who have endometriosis are five to seven times more likely to get the syndrome. In one study, infants were found to have evidence of endometriosis in their bodies, but the actual syndrome is not activated in the body until puberty.
Currently there is no cure for endometriosis.
If you are experiencing any symptoms, or have been diagnosed with IBS or ovarian cysts, make an appointment with Forest Hills Medical to explore possible testing options and treatment.