- What is endometriosis?
Endometriosis, throughout the reproductive lives of women causes wide range of problems. It is a chronic condition. It causes problems such as fertility problems, menstrual bleeding that is heavy or causes recurrent pelvic pain. The transitional stages in the reproductive life of a woman are strongly linked to the severity and symptoms of endometriosis. Infertility is a common problem in almost 40 percent of women with endometriosis. The sperm or egg may get damaged or their movement may be interfered due to the inflammationfrom endometriosis.
- How do I know if I have endometriosis?
These signs may indicate that you have endometriosis:
- Heavy period
- Abdominal pain especially during periods
- Gastrointestinal pain
- Pain while doing intercourse
- Blocked fallopian tube
The fallopian tube may get totally of partially blocked due to endometriosis. Seeing directly in the narrow tube during surgery becomes difficult for the doctors. The function of the fimbrae may get disrupted due to endometrial implants. They may either stick to each other or other structures due to endometriosis. In severe cases they may totally get destroyed and the function might be lost. Problem can be caused even due to a slightest disruption in their function. The fallopian tube may get totally blocked by endometrial implants. They destroy the fimbrae by forming scar tissue and thus the tiny fingers of fimbrae stick to each other. The fallopian tube may get damaged by blood and inflammatory fluid.
- Weakened immune system
The destruction of extrauterine endometrial tissue can be prevented due to problems with the immune system. By altering the immune response endometriosis may trigger infertility. In some infertile women, altered immuneresponse has been found to be triggered by endometriosis.
- Scarred fallopian tubes
The endometrial implants during the menstrual cycle continue to thicken and bleed and get trapped. Thus in the fallopian tube scar tissues may form.
- Endometriosis and damaged ovaries
On the surface of the ovaries endometriosis is common but they may even invade the interior. They can do all sorts of damage to the ovary by implanting the endometrial tissue onto the surface of the ovary. They may cause the same problems by metaplasia that is from the surface cell endometriosis starts. It can be on any part of the ovary.
- Endometriosis and impaired implantation of the pregnancy
Often in severe cases of endometriosis, the endometrium is affected which in turn affects implantation of embryo. Through a decrease in embryo quality, the possible effect of implantation is mediated.
- Endometriosis and hormonal changes
An intricately linked role is played by hormones in the genesis and pain generation within endometriosis. Estrogen stimulates the endometrium to become thick. The endometrium may grow much larger and very thick if the estrogen level is too high. This may make the women experience more pain. Endometriosis is a condition dependant on estrogen.
By retrograde menstruation or metaplasia when endometriosis develops on the surface of the ovary or starts from the surface, then the inflammatory process begins. This causes adhesions. To the tube, intestine,pelvic wall or uterus the ovary can get stuck. These adhesions cause problems with the intestine, infertility and are they are very painful. Sometimes if the case is worse than contents of the pelvis that includes intestines, fallopian tube and uterus may get stuck together. This results in frozen pelvis. Infertility is caused by these adhesions.
- Endometriosis and pelvic distortion
At the site of endometrial implants mini-menstruations may occur due to reaction to estrogen and progesterone. In the peritoneal lining menstrual blood shed from these lesions get trapped. To clear these debris the immune system then undergoes fights. Thus at the cellular level there is inflammation. Gradually adhesions take pace which glue the internal organs and wrap around them and from organ to organ form web like structures and they attach to the peritoneum. These adhesions may harden in the pelvis the soft tissues and organs by digging deep thus due to fibrosis the implant becomes a total rock like tissue.