Here’s ev­ery­thing you need to know about en­dometrio­sis and fer­til­ity

An es­ti­mated 10.8 mil­lion women suf­fer from en­dometrio­sis across the world. Read on to know ev­ery­thing about it...

Mother & Baby - - CONTENTS - Dr Neena Bahl, di­rec­tor, ob­stet­rics & gynaecology, For­tis Lafemme, New Delhi

UN­DER­STAND­ING EN­DOMETRIO­SIS

En­dometrium is the in­ner ep­ithe­lial layer in the ovary. En­dometrio­sis is a dis­or­der where the en­dometrium, pri­mar­ily lin­ing the in­ner walls of uterus, starts grow­ing out­side the uterus wall. Of­ten, this de­viant de­vel­op­ment takes place on the ovaries, fal­lop­ian tubes, and tis­sues around the uterus and ovaries, and only in rare cir­cum­stances, does the growth take place in some other part of the body.

CAUSES OF EN­DOMETRIO­SIS

The cause of en­dometrio­sis is still not known, since the rea­sons are var­ied from per­son to per­son. How­ever, the fol­low­ing cer­tain fac­tors may in­crease the risks of the dis­or­der:

Hered­i­tary: Women who share a fam­ily his­tory with a per­son hav­ing the con­di­tion are up to 7-10 times more likely to de­velop en­dometrio­sis. Also, iden­ti­cal twins are prone to share the dis­ease. Ret­ro­grade Men­stru­a­tion: Dur­ing men­stru­a­tion, the blood flows out of the body through the gen­i­tals, but ret­ro­grade men­stru­a­tion or back­ward bleed­ing takes back the blood con­tain­ing en­dome­trial cells through the fal­lop­ian tube to the pelvic cav­ity.

Me­ta­pla­sia: Un­der this con­di­tion, pelvic tis­sues are con­verted into en­dometrio­sis. Other than these, the oc­cur­rence of menar­che be­fore the age of 11 years, pro­longed days of pro­fuse bleed­ing (more than 5 days), hav­ing a reg­u­lar cy­cle of less than 27 days or even shorter, hav­ing first preg­nancy at a later age, low body weight, and al­co­holism are some of the fac­tors that play a sig­nif­i­cant role in en­dometrio­sis.

SYMP­TOMS THAT SHOULD NOT BE IG­NORED

Pain: It is a warn­ing sign of this con­di­tion. The sever­ity of pain does not de­fine danger; how­ever, the lo­ca­tion of the en­dome­trial tis­sues does. When one is feeling pain be­fore and dur­ing pe­ri­ods, pain dur­ing or af­ter sex, ab­dom­i­nal, back and/or pelvic pain; pain dur­ing uri­na­tion or the pass­ing of bow­els, ovu­la­tion pain pass­ing through the thigh or leg.

Pat­tern of bleed­ing: An­other sign to look out for is the pat­tern of bleed­ing that in­cludes heavy bleed­ing, with or with­out clots, ir­reg­u­lar bleed­ing, with or with­out a reg­u­lar cy­cle, bleed­ing longer than nor­mal, and bleed­ing be­fore due date. Bloat­ing, bowel prob­lems, fa­tigue, mood swings and spasm or tight­ness of the pelvic floor dur­ing in­ter­course are all warn­ing signs.

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