SymptomsEndometriosis formed by proliferation (growth) endometrium is called “implants.” These increase in volume, bleed and are removed during each menstrual cycle, as a “false” endometrium. This can cause pain and may cause a woman to get pregnant very difficult.
Some women with endometriosis have no symptoms. Other women with endometriosis have symptoms from mild to severe.
Symptoms of endometriosis are often most severe just before and during menstrual cycle and become blurred in the late menstrual period. However, for some women, pain is continuous and does not improve during the menstrual cycle.
Symptoms are pain, which may be:
– Pelvic pain
– Severe cramping during menstruation
– Back pains a day or two days before the menstrual period (or later), becoming lighter during menstrual period
– Pain during intercourse
– Rectal pain
– Infertility, which may be the only sign present in endometriosis. Between 20% -40% of women who are infertile have endometriosis
– Abnormal bleeding. These may include:
– Blood in urine or stool
– premenstrual spotting
– Vaginal bleeding after intercourse
– Other conditions such as painful periods, adenomyosis or proliferation (growth) in non-cancerous uterus called uterine fibroids can cause symptoms that are similar to endometriosis.
Usually, endometriosis is a disease of long duration, permanent (chronic). Some women have no symptoms or other problems. Other women with endometriosis develop mild symptoms, severe and some may become infertile. Therefore there is no way to specify what kind of endometriosis may worsen or improve.
Proliferation (growth), endometrial (implants) can develop in the ovaries or fallopian tubes, outside surface of the uterus, the intestines or other abdominal organs. Rarely endometriosis can affect other organs or body structures. Such proliferation have evolution similar to the lining. This explains why the pain of endometriosis begins with a slight discomfort a few days before the menstrual period and usually diminish by the end of the menstrual period. However, if endometrial proliferation develops in a sensitive area, it can cause further pain or pain during certain activities, for example during sexual intercourse.
Symptoms of endometriosis are often reduced during pregnancy and usually disappear after menopause. In these periods the level of estrogen is low, causing a slowing or stoppage of endometrial proliferation. In most women symptoms of endometriosis require hormone therapy to reduce levels of estrogen.
Ovarian cancer risk is increased in women with endometriosis. This type of ovarian cancer is most common in women older than 60 years.
Birth control pills taken five or more years reduced the risk of ovarian cancer.
Risk factors incriminated in the development of endometriosis are:
– Family history (endometriosis in the family) or the mother or mother’s sister (first-degree relatives) who have severe endometriosis .. This risk is directly inherited from mother
– Menstrual cycle shorter than 28 days
– Duration of menses more than 7 days
– Occurrence of menarche (first menstrual period) before the age of 12
– Abnormal structure of the uterus, cervix or vagina (congenital anomaly) which obstructs menstrual flow.
If during the menstrual period women experience mild pain without other symptoms or problems, it can expect a heavy menstrual flow.
For some women, endometriosis have no symptoms, but in many cases, it is very painful. Strong dysmenorrhea begins a few days before menstruation and ends a few days after; this is one of the symptoms. It also might be a deep and sharp pain during intercourse, painful ovulation, urine or stool, very heavy menstrual bleeding.
Certain levels of pain or cramps are normal during menstruation, but women with endometriosis feel pain which is much stronger than normal. Therefore, often the disease is confused with pelvic inflammatory disease, with an ovarian cyst or irritable bowel syndrome. Careful investigation is needed to make an accurate diagnosis.
You cannot do anything to prevent disease, but you can go to the doctor as soon as you suspect something is wrong. Left untreated, endometriosis can adversely affect quality of life. Pain may occur in professional and personal life can cause depression, irritability and anger.
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