The first thing you should know about menses, is that they should not be painful. One of the most common causes of pelvic pain is endometriosis. Endometriosis is a gynecologic condition that occurs in 6 to 10 % of women in reproductive age.
Things you should know about endometriosis
Endometriosis is one of the most common chronic pelvic pain causes in women. Therefore, it is important to know what it is about; we decided to consult Dr. Andrés Tonatihu Flores y Flores for a better explanation about it.
– Common gynecological
Endometriosis affects about 6 to 10 women out of 100. It usually happens during the reproductive years.
– Beyond a painful period
Endometriosis occurs when endometrial cells (the uterus inner lining) don´t place where they should and are found outside the uterine cavity. Therefore, these cells can land on the fallopian tubes, bladder, ovaries, pelvic wall, bowel, peritoneum or uterus.
– Causes of endometriosis
The exact causes of endometriosis are not certain; however, there are some theories that tries to explain endometriosis such as:
- Endometrial cell transport: This means that the blood vessels may transport endometrial cells to other parts of the body.
- Spontaneously: One theory suggests that endometrial cells may spontaneously form in the pelvis.
- Retrograde menstruation: Endometrial cells may flow from the endometrial cavity through the fallopian tubes and into the pelvis.
- Immune system disorder: In case of having problems with the immune system may make unable to recognize for the body the endometrial-like tissue that can be growing outside the uterus.
– Difficult to diagnose
Endometriosis may be difficult to diagnose due to every experience in women being different, symptoms can be like other conditions. It may take up to 7 years for a woman to be diagnosed with endometriosis.
– It has no cure
Endometriosis can´t be cured. However, many treatments can help to reduce pain such as anti-inflammatory painkillers; hormone medicines, contraceptives, ibuprofen, among others. In some cases, surgery is needed to treat or even remove endometriotic tissue.
– It can´t be prevented
You can’t prevent this condition, but you can reduce the risk of the disease if you maintain a low of estrogen levels in your body. You can maintain this low-level avoiding caffeinated drinks, avoiding excessive alcohol consumption, doing exercise to maintain a healthy weight.
– A bad period does not mean endometriosis
As we mentioned before, usually women who have bad periods think they have endometriosis for the pelvic pain, but this is not exactly true. Pelvic pain can be caused for many reasons such as; pelvic floor disorders, urinary infections, among others.
It is important to avoid self-diagnosis and consult a specialist to know if you have endometriosis. As you know by now, it is important to reduce risks and symptoms due to it cannot be eliminated by 100%.
We thank the collaboration of Dr. Andrés T. Flores y Flores, obstetrician gynecologist. Graduated from Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, where he also successfully completed his Bachelor’s Degree as a Surgeon. He has 20 years of experience where he has focused on endometriosis care and minimally invasive gynecological surgery, among others.
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