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#11: Endometriosis

Updated: Mar 12, 2020



Happy #WomenWednesday ladies! This topic is becoming more well known especially through social media and it’s important for us to be proactive about our health by reading and researching and have a routine check-up with your doctor! There are TONS of information about Endometriosis. So don’t be afraid to check out other viable websites as well!

 

WHAT IS ENDOMETRIOSIS?

So, endometriosis is often a painful disorder in which tissue similar to the tissue that normally lines the inside of your uterus — the endometrium — grows outside your uterus. It happens when tissue similar to the lining of the uterus grows outside of your uterus and on other areas in your body where it doesn’t belong. Most often, endometriosis is found on the: ovaries, fallopian tubes, tissues that hold the uterus in place, and outer surface of the uterus.


GIRL, DID YOU KNOW?!

Endometriosis may affect more than 11% of American women between 15 and 44. It is especially common among women in their 30s and 40s and may make it harder to get pregnant.


SYMPTOMS

  • Painful Periods (Dysmenorrhea). Pelvic pain and cramping may begin before and extend several days into a menstrual period. You may also have lower back and abdominal pain.

  • Pain With Sexual Intercourse. Pain during or after sex is common with endometriosis.

  • Pain With Bowel Movements Or Urination. You’re most likely to experience these symptoms during a menstrual period.

  • Excessive Bleeding. You may experience occasional heavy menstrual periods or bleeding between periods (Intermenstrual bleeding).

  • Infertility. Sometimes, endometriosis is first diagnosed in those seeking treatment for infertility.

  • Other signs and symptoms. You may experience fatigue, diarrhea, constipation, bloating, or nausea, especially during menstrual periods.


RISK FACTORS

  • Never giving birth

  • Starting your period at an early age

  • Going through menopause at an older age

  • Short menstrual cycles-for instance, less than 27 days

  • Heavy menstrual periods that last longer than seven days

  • Having high levels of estrogen in your body or a greater lifetime exposure to estrogen your body produces

  • Low body mass index

  • One or more relatives (mother, aunt, or sister) with endometriosis

  • Any medical condition that prevents the normal passage of menstrual flow out of the body

  • Reproductive tract abnormalities


WHAT CAUSES ENDOMETRIOSIS?

No one knows for sure what causes this disease.

Researchers are studying possible causes:

  • Problems with menstrual period flow.

  • Genetic Factors. Because endometriosis runs in families, it may be inherited in the genes.

  • Immune system problems.

  • Hormones. The hormone estrogen appears to promote endometriosis.

  • Surgery. During a surgery to the abdominal area, such as Cesarean (C-Section) or hysterectomy, endometrial tissue could be picked up and moved by mistake. For instance, endometrial tissue has been found in abdominal scars.


PREVENTION

You can't prevent endometriosis. But you can reduce your chances of developing it by lowering the levels of the hormone estrogen in your body. Estrogen helps to thicken the lining of your uterus during your menstrual cycle.

To keep lower estrogen levels in your body, you can:

  • Talk to your doctor about hormonal birth control methods, such as pills, patches or rings with lower doses of estrogen.

  • Exercise regularly (more than 4 hours a week). This will also help you keep a low percentage of body fat. Regular exercise and a lower amount of body fat help decrease the amount of estrogen circulating through the body.

  • Avoid large amounts of alcohol. Alcohol raises estrogen levels. No more than one drink per day is recommended for women who choose to drink alcohol.

  • Avoid large amounts of drinks with caffeine. Studies show that drinking more than one caffeinated drink a day, especially sodas and green tea, can raise estrogen levels.


TREATMENT

Pain medication: Your doctor may recommend that you take an over-the-counter pain reliever to help ease painful menstrual cramps.

Hormone therapy. Supplemental hormones are sometimes effective in reducing or eliminating the pain of endometriosis.

Conservative surgery. If you have endometriosis and are trying to become pregnant, surgery to remove the endometriosis implants while preserving your uterus and ovaries (conservative surgery) may increase your chances of success.

Fertility treatment. Endometriosis can lead to trouble conceiving. If you’re having difficulty getting pregnant, your doctor may recommend fertility treatment supervised by a fertility specialist.


CAN I GET PREGNANT IF I HAVE ENDOMETRIOSIS?

YES! Many women with endometriosis get pregnant. But, you may find it harder to get pregnant. Researchers think endometriosis may affect as many as one in every 2 women with infertility.

If you have endometriosis and are having trouble getting pregnant, talk to your doctor. He or she can recommend treatments, such as surgery to remove the endometrial growths.


Resource:

Mayo Clinic

Office On Women’s Health


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