Endometriosis is a condition in which women develop endometrial cells (the cells that form the lining of the uterus) that grow outside of the uterus itself. These growths are known as endometrial implants, and generally grow on the ovaries, fallopian tubes or intestines and in or around the vagina, though they can also develop in other locations in the pelvis. These growths are benign, but can behave like the rest of the uterus and bleed every month, causing cysts.
Most women who have endometriosis do not in fact show any symptoms. Of those who do, common symptoms are pelvic pain and infertility. Some women experience pain or cramping during intercourse, and gastrointestinal issues depending on the location of the implants. The intensity of the pain varies greatly between woman, and can change from month to month.
Management and treatment
Having children has long been seen as a surefire ‘cure’ for endometriosis, and some women experience a complete cessation of symptoms after childbirth. However, there is no guarantee that pregnancy will ease symptoms.
The pill and other local medications can ease symptoms by the regulation of periods, however the main treatment at present it excision of the endometrial implants through laproscopic (keyhole) surgery. For some, conditions can ease after one surgery, but sometimes the growths recur and further surgeries are needed. If need be, a hysterectomy is the final and last resort for easing the condition.
For more information please contact Endometriosis New Zealand