How Endometriosis Affects Conception
Endometriosis is really a common, yet poorly understood disease. It can strike women of any socioeconomic class, age, or race. It’s estimated that between 10 and 20 percent of American women of childbearing age have endometriosis.
Although some women with endometriosis could have severe pelvic pain, others who have the condition have no symptoms. Nothing about endometriosis is simple, and you can find no absolute cures. The condition can affect a woman’s whole existence–her capability to work, her ability to reproduce, and her relationships with her mate, her child, and everyone around her.
What is Endometriosis?
The name endometriosis comes from the term “endometrium,” the tissue that lines the inside of the uterus. If a woman isn’t pregnant, this tissue builds up and is shed each month. It is discharged as menstrual flow at the end of every cycle. In endometriosis, tissue that looks and acts like endometrial tissue is found outside the uterus, usually in the abdominal cavity. Endometrial tissue residing outside the uterus responds to the menstrual period in a way that is similar to just how endometrium usually responds in the uterus.
At the end of each cycle, when hormones cause the uterus to shed its endometrial lining, endometrial tissue growing outside the uterus will break apart and bleed. However, unlike menstrual fluid from the uterus, that is discharged from the body during menstruation, blood from the misplaced uterus has no spot to go. Tissues surrounding the area of endometriosis may become inflamed or swollen. The inflammation may produce scar tissue formation around the section of endometriosis. These endometrial tissue sites may develop into what exactly are called “lesions,” “implants,” “nodules,” or “growths.”
Endometriosis is most often within the ovaries, on the fallopian tubes, and the ligaments supporting the uterus, in the inner area between your vagina and rectum, on the outer surface of the uterus, and on the liner of the pelvic cavity. Infrequently, endometrial growths are found on the intestines or in the rectum, on the bladder, vagina cervix, and vulva (external genitals), or in abdominal surgery scars, Very rarely, endometrial growths have already been found beyond your abdomen, in the thigh, arm, or lung.
Physicians may use stages to describe the severe nature of endometriosis. Endometrial implants that are small and not widespread are believed minimal or mild endometriosis. Moderate endometriosis implies that larger implants or more extensive scar tissue is present. Severe endometriosis is used to describe large implants and extensive scar tissue formation.
What are the Symptoms?
Most commonly, the outward symptoms of endometriosis start years after menstrual periods begin. Through the years, the symptoms have a tendency to gradually increase because the endometriosis areas upsurge in size. After menopause, the abnormal implants shrink away and the outward symptoms subside. The most frequent symptom is pain, specially excessive menstrual cramps (dysmenorrhea) which may be felt in the abdomen or lower back or pain during or after sex (dyspareunia). Infertility occurs in about 30-40 percent of women with endometriosis.
Rarely, the irritation due to endometrial implants may progress into infection or abscesses causing pain in addition to the menstrual cycle.
Endometrial patches may also be tender to touch or pressure, the intestinal pain may also derive from endometrial patches on the walls of the colon or intestine. The amount of pain is not always related to the severity of the condition. Some women with severe endometriosis haven’t any pain; while others with just a couple of small growths have incapacitating pain.
Endometrial cancer is very rarely connected with endometriosis, occurring in under 1 percent of women who’ve the disease. When it can occur, it is usually within more complex patches of endometriosis in older women and the long-term outlook in these unusual cases is fairly good.
How is Endometriosis Linked to Fertility Problems?
Severe endometriosis with extensive scarring and organ damage may affect fertility. It really is considered one of the three major causes of female infertility.
However, unsuspected or mild endometriosis is a common finding among infertile women. How this sort of endometriosis affects fertility continues to be not clear.
While the pregnancy rates for patients with endometriosis remain lower than those of the overall population, most patients with endometriosis usually do not experience fertility problems. We do not have a clear understanding of the cause-effect relationship of endometriosis and infertility
What is the reason for Endometriosis?
The cause of endometriosis is still unknown. One theory is that during menstruation a number of the menstrual tissue backs up through the fallopian tubes in to the abdomen, where it implants and grows. Another theory suggests that endometriosis can be a genetic process or that one families may have predisposing factors to endometriosis. In Endometriosis risks , endometriosis sometimes appears because the tissue development process gone awry.
In line with the theory of traditional chinese medicine, endometriosis is really a disease which is due to the stagnation of blood. Blood stagnation may occur due to one or more abortions or lower abdominal or pelvic surgeries.
Additionally, engaging in sexual activity during menstruation may very likely over time cause blood stagnation. Emotional trauma, severe stress, physical or emotional abuse can all result in the stagnation of blood.
Additionally, diet might be a precipitating factor. The constant, longterm ingestion of cold foods can congeal blood and thus contribute to the stagnation thereof. Cold foods include raw vegetable, ices, ice cream, ice in drinks, frozen yogurt, etc. Remember, cold congeals. Think about what happens to a standard glass of water when devote the freezer. It turns to ice.
The blood is affected similarly. That is to say, it congeals, doesn’t flow smoothly and may form endometrial adhesions, chocolate cysts, uterine fibroids. Whatever the reason behind endometriosis, its progression is influenced by various stimulating factors such as for example hormones or growth factors. In this regard, investigators are studying the role of the disease fighting capability in activating cells which could secrete factors which, in turn, stimulate endometriosis.
Besides these new hypotheses, investigators are continuing to look into previous theories that endometriosis is really a disease influenced by delaying childbearing. Since the hormones created by the placenta during pregnancy prevent ovulation, the progress of endometriosis is slowed or stopped during pregnancy and the full total number of lifetime cycles is reduced for a woman who had multiple pregnancies.
How is Endometriosis Diagnosed?
Diagnosis of endometriosis begins with a gynecologist evaluating the patient’s medical history. A complete physical exam, including a pelvic examination, is also necessary. However, diagnosis of endometriosis is only complete when proven by way of a laparoscopy, a minor medical procedure when a laparoscope (a tube with a light in it) is inserted into a small precise incision in the abdomen.
The laparoscope is moved around the abdomen, which includes been distended with skin tightening and gas to help make the organs better to see. The surgeon can then check the condition of the abdominal organs and see the endometrial implants. The laparoscopy will show the locations, extent, and size of the growths and can help the individual and her doctor make better-informed decisions about treatment. Endometriosis is a long-standing disease that often develops slowly.
What is the Treatment?
As the treatment for endometriosis has varied over time, doctors now agree that if the symptoms are mild, no more treatment apart from medication for pain may be needed. Endometriosis is really a progressive disorder.
It is my opinion that by not treating endometriosis it will get worse. Treatment should immediately after a positive diagnosis is made. The pain connected with endometriosis can be diminished by using acupuncture and herbal medicine. I’ve treated a lot of women with endometriosis and also have successfully alleviated pain and slowed down growth and recurrence of endometriosis.
For those patients with mild or minimal endometriosis who wish to get pregnant, doctors are advising that, with regards to the age of the patient and the quantity of pain linked to the disease, the best plan of action is to have a trial period of unprotected intercourse for six months to 1 12 months. If pregnancy will not occur within that time, then further treatment could be needed. Again, these patients should think about herbal medicine to aid along the way of conception.