Endometriosis is the name a condition where tissue like the ones in the lining of the womb are found in other parts of the body like the ovaries, fallopian tubes, inside the tummy, and in or around the bladder or bowel.
These tissues that develop outside the womb react in the same way as those in the womb. Each month they will build up, break down and bleed. Unlike the womb, where the broken-down tissues leave the body in the form of a period, these cells have nowhere to go.
It is a serious condition that can have serious effects on the body, causing pain, discomfort and heavy bleeding. It can also lead to other complications like infertility and bowl and bladder problems.
Endometriosis is a condition that can affect women of all ages, young and old, regardless of ethnicity or race.
Symptoms of endometriosis
Pain and discomfort is a very common symptom of endometriosis, which can become more serve during your period. You may also find that normal pain relief medication you buy over the counter is ineffective in reducing the pain.
This condition can also cause heavy bleeding during your period, as well as pain and discomfort during sexual intercourse and general fatigue and tiredness. The pain experience over long periods of time can also cause psychological issue like depression in some women.
Depending on where the endometriosis has developed other less common symptoms may occur. For example, endometriosis on your bowel can cause pain and bleeding when you go to the toilet, or on your bladder, it can cause pain when passing urine.
Similar symptoms can be caused by other conditions. To be sure of what is causing your discomfort, you’ll need to speak to your doctor to get a full assessment.
Some women won’t feel any symptoms from endometriosis.
How is endometriosis diagnosed?
First and most important part of the assessment process is communication. Be open with your doctor and explain the symptoms you’re experiencing.
Your doctor may provide the following tests to check for endometriosis:
- Vaginal examination – This involves the doctor inserted a gloved, lubricated finer into the vagina to feel for abnormalities in and around the womb. At the same time, they may press against the abdomen.
- Rectal examination – This involves the doctor inserted a gloved, lubricated finer into the back passage. This shouldn’t cause pain but may be a little uncomfortable.
- Ultrasound scan – This is not guaranteed to identify endometriosis, but is an option available to doctors. To look for endometriosis, an ultrasound scan may be done using a sensor placed in the vagina. An ultrasound may be able to identity if the symptoms you’re experiencing are caused by something other than endometriosis.
Some women endometriosis will clear up on its own within a year. For others, treatment may be needed to alleviate the symptoms. The treatment provided to you will vary for many reasons. The severity of the symptoms and whether you want to have children in the future will be taken into consideration when deciding on the best course of action.
There are a number of treatments that manage pain and discomfort, but most of them are not permanent solutions. If the symptoms return, alternative treatment may be tried.
The best treatment, based on your person situation, will need to be discussed and decided with your doctor.
Endometriosis and infertility problems
Around 70% of women with endometriosis can get pregnant without medical assistance. Having said that, some women who have this condition, or take certain medication to treat its unpleasant symptoms may experience reduced fertility.
If you’re having problems conceiving, firstly it is important to have a medical examination to determine the actual cause of your infertility. Is it endometriosis that is causing the problem or is it an unrelated issue?
Once the cause has been identified there a number of very common fertility treatments that may be considered. Depending on the cause your doctor will recommend the most appropriate form of treatment.
Is fertility treatment for everyone?
There are a variety of fertility treatment technique available to people, each slightly different to suit the varying needs and complications related to fertility. Despite this, there is still no guarantee that any treatment will be successful. It is important to be aware of this.
Additionally, there will be some people who can’t have fertility treatment because the chances of success are extremely low or impossible because of their condition.
A pre-treatment assessment will determine whether there is a fertility treatment to suit you.
Most fertility drugs given to women are used to help with ovulation. Clomifene and gonadotrophins are among the most commonly prescribed fertility drugs by doctors. They work by regulating your reproductive hormones and trigger the release of eggs in each ovulation cycle.
ICSI Is a fertility treatment for men and is quite often combined with IVF treatment. ICSI requires only one healthy sperm cell, which is injected directly into the egg. The embryo, or fertilised egg, is then placed back into the womb to grow and develop.
Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is a fertility treatment carried out to help with certain types of fertility problems. It works by placing sperm inside the uterus to increases the odds of sperm reaching the fallopian tubes and pregnancy occurring.
This procedure will only work is the fallopian tubes allow for sperm to pass through, requires at least one health tube.
One of the best know fertility treatments, the procedure works by extracting an egg from the women’s ovaries and fertilising it outside of the body in a laboratory. The fertilised egg is then return to the womb to develop
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