What is endometriosis? Symptoms, treatment and pregnancy
Endometriosis – gynecologic disease which causes the formation of nodes in and out the uterus. Endometriosis is a benign disease which is connected with hormonal and immune disorders of female organism and characterized by excrescence of tissues out endometrium which are similar on its functions and structure. In many cases, female infertility is caused by endometriosis which might be combined with myomas or other inflammations of the genitals.
Several forms of endometriosis are distinguished:
- Peritoneal form of endometriosis might differ on the basis of its pigmentation ( white, red-blue, brown-black) and fibrosis.
- Cystic-ovarian form is characterized by the formation of endometriosis ovarian cysts. The most significant factor in such a case is the amount and character of the nodes.
- Rectovaginal form is subdivided into deep (in the uterus) and superficial (in the ovaries, fallopian tubes, uterine ligaments)
Endometriosis looks like little isolated or merged with the surrounding tissues niduses of oval or irregular shape. In the cases of endometriosis numerous hemorrhages occur during the periods. In such a way, contents of the cavities might extend on the healthy tissues disturbing them or streaming out with menstrual blood. With each next periods changes repeat and increase the spread of the endometriosis nidus. Very often such niduses are surrounded by the commissures which cause the pain syndrome.
Signs of endometriosis
Usually women face endometriosis at the age of 20-45. It is viewed to be a subtle disease as during quite a long period of time it might pass asymptomatically. But in time painful syndromes declare themselves. Very often patients complain of sharp pains in the loin or/and lower abdomen before and during the periods.
Another symptoms of endometriosis are disorders of menstrual function like painful ample periods accompanied with swampy discharges before and after them. Some women suffer from discomfort and pain during sex, bloating and constipations. Frequently infertility is the only sign of endometriosis. One of the main factors which causes the development of the disease is hereditary mutations because of which immune cells are unable to destroy cells of endometrium. Bad ecology, immune disorders and hormonal misbalance just contribute to the further advance of endometriosis.
Only gynecologist might define endometriosis on the basis of patients’ complains and complex clinical and gynecologic examinations to exclude the possibility of other female diseases. Some additional check-ups might be required:
- US of the organs of small pelvis;
- hysterosalpingography (X-ray images of the uterus and fallopian tubes);
- diagnostic laparoscopy – insignificant surgical operation which allows to examine organs of small pelvis inside with the help of special scope introduced through the abdominal cavity.
Nowadays, endometriosis might be treated hormonally and surgically. Due to the hormonal drugs doctors cause patient’s absence of periods and niduses of endometriosis atrophy on their own. Course of such a treatment usually lasts nearly half a year. But such hormonal medicines can cause serious side effects which might renew even if their intake is stopped.
Surgical method is much more effective. 15 years ago treatment of endometriosis was rather radical as doctors totally removed the affected organs and uterus. But now due to laparoscopy only endometriosis niduses are deleted (with a laser or electrocoagulation) preserving internal genitals.
Endometriosis and infertility
While endometriosis there might be different reasons of infertility. As a result of hormonal and immune disorders maturation of follicles is disturbed. Even if ovulation doesn’t disappear, an egg can “die” in the abdominal cavity under the influence of immune antibodies which produce various toxic substance. Endometriosis cysts destroy the follicular apparatus and, in such a way, female fertility is significantly decreased. At the same time, mobility of follicle tubes are ruined.