If you are experiencing constant intervals of pelvic pain, or having troubles conceiving, chances are you might be suffering from endometriosis. According to Dr Gautam Allahbadia, the condition is not uncommon among women. However, it usually causes silent signs that point towards your health being at risk. While the exact cause of endometriosis hasn’t been identified yet, the condition is often associated with pelvic pain and infertility.
“When the lining of the interior of the uterus called endometrial tissue grows abnormally outside the uterus, the condition is called endometriosis. Outgrowth is observed in areas such as your uterus, ovaries, tubes and on your bladder or intestines as well. This tissue can irritate structures that it touches, causing pain and adhesions (scar tissue) on these organs,” explains Dr Gautam Allahbadia, IVF consultant in Dubai who also heads the IVF Department of the Millennium Medical Center (MMC) IVF, Dubai.
According to Dr Allahbadia, the benign yet severe condition could be triggered by several possible factors. Medical reproductive statistics reveal that as much as 40 percent women worldwide suffering from endometriosis can have trouble conceiving. Hormonal influences, among other reasons, are speculated to be a possible trigger. Also, the condition has a proclivity to cause infertility.
Based on the extent, depth, severity of scar tissue, and the pertinent size of the endometrial implants (lesions found in ectopic locations) in the ovaries, endometriosis can be classified into four stages. The stages I and II are tagged as minimal, inferring to mild scarring and implants. Stages III and IV results in cysts formation and scarring, which might cause infertility and other pelvic related problems.
According to Dr Gautam Allahbadia, women should consult their doctor if they experience the following symptoms that indicate endometriosis:
- Abdominal pain
- Irregular/ heavy menstruation, or painful periods (dysmenorrhea). Some women can even experience blotting in between the normal cycle.
- Painful/bloody urination
- Painful intercourse
- Bowel irritation
Endometriosis is often a hereditary condition. While a number of hormonal changes have been linked with the condition of endometriosis, it remains unclear as to which might contribute to the condition or which might simply result from it. A particular or combination of symptoms can direct towards the condition. “However, a thorough screening by your doctor is a must for the diagnosis of the condition,” says Dr Gautam Allahbadia.