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Endometriosis - A Women Disease

After 22 years as an RN, I now write about medical issues and new medical advances. Diet, exercise, treatment, and lifestyle are important.

endometriosis-a-women-disease

Endometriosis Statistics and Facts

Endometriosis is a disease that affects 200 million women around the world and one out of ten women in the United States. It is a disease that is often missed completely or misdiagnosed, according to the Endometriosis Foundation of America. Women between fifteen and forty four years are typically affected, but the most common ages are women between thirty and forty.

This is heritable condition that is influenced by genetics and the environment. Therefore, sisters and daughters are also at a higher risk of developing endometriosis. While I had this condition my mother and my sister did not.

Exactly What Is Endometriosis

Endometriosis occurs when cells that are similar to normal cells found on the inside of the endometrium grow on the outside of the uterus. Typically, these cells are found in the fallopian tubes, ovaries and tissue around the ovaries. In rare cases these cells may be found in other areas of the body.

Places of endrometrial cells

endometriosis-a-women-disease

Endometriosis Symptoms

Pelvic pain is the most common initial symptom of this condition. There are several physical clues to diagnosing endometriosis. Those with chronic pelvic pain most commonly have pain during menstruation. Pain during intercourse is also common. Urinary and bowel symptoms may occur, but they are less common.

Approximately twenty to twenty-five percent of women are asymptomatic, but common symptoms are pain and infertility.

Endometriosis: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment

Endometriosis Symptoms

Pelvic pain is the most common initial symptom of this condition. There are several physical clues to diagnosing endometriosis. Those with chronic pelvic pain most commonly have pain during menstruation. Pain during intercourse is also common. Urinary and bowel symptoms may occur, but they are less common.

Approximately twenty to twenty-five percent of women are asymptomatic, but common symptoms are pain and infertility.

endometriosis-a-women-disease

Endometriosis Diagnosis

There are several ways used to diagnose this disease. First, a health history and pelvic examination will be completed. Your gynecologist will look for abnormalities, which could be a scar or a cyst. Sometimes it is not possible to feel small areas of endometriosis.

Other diagnostic tests include:

  1. Ultrasound - this won’t definitively identify endometriosis but it will identify cysts associated with endometriosis
  2. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) - provides detailed information about endometrial implants
  3. Laparoscopy - a procedure where a surgeon can view the inside of your abdomen using a tiny incision while you are anesthetized

This is a condition that can be staged according to the American Society of Reproductive Medicine.

Stage 1 - minimal superficial lesions

Stage 2 - mild that will have some deep lesions in the cul-de-sac

Stage 3 - moderate that also includes the presence of endometriomas on the ovary and more adhesions

Stage 4 - includes large endometriomas, extensive adhesions

Treatment for Endometriosis

This disease is typically treated with medication or surgery. Sometimes the disease can be fully treated with the laparoscopy procedure. The doctor may also recommend over-the-counter pain medication, such as ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil, etc.) or naproxen sodium (Aleve).

Hormone therapy may be prescribed in addition to the pain relievers. The hormone therapy may be in the form of patches, birth control pills or vaginal rings that control hormones responsible for the buildup of endometrial tissue every month. This treatment may eliminate or at least reduce pain.

  1. Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (Gn-RH) agonists and antagonists block the production of ovarian-stimulating hormones, which lowers the estrogen preventing menstruation. As this causes an artificial menopause, low doses of estrogen and progestin are prescribed to decrease side effects.
  2. Progestin therapies come in many forms. Progestin can also stop menstrual periods and the growth of the endometrial implants.
  3. Aromatase inhibitors reduce estrogen in your body. This is sometimes prescribed with progestin or a combination or hormonal contraceptive.

Sometimes surgery (hysterectomy) to remove the uterus and ovaries (oophorectomy) was considered the more effective treatment. Endometriosis experts are now choosing more conservative approaches. Surgeries, usually a laparoscopy, are used more frequently to remove just the endometriosis tissue.

The Signs and Symptoms of Endometriosis

Homeopathic Treatment

Relief has been provided for some women using botanical medicine. Some of the treatments that have worked for some women include:

  • Vitex (Chaste Tree) has been used for hormone imbalance, and it causes less estrogen to be available.
  • Motherwort tends to soothe cramps during extreme pain, and it is a mild sedative that provides some relaxation.
  • Rosmarinus (Rosemary) has been researched as an anti-inflammatory herb.
  • Cucumin reduces estradiol, and that reduces endometriosis symptoms.
  • Flax seeds have an anti-inflammatory effect.
  • Pycnogenol is derived from Pine Bark and has been researched. It reduces painful symptoms of endometriosis.
  • Green tea has shown promising effects for endometriosis treatment.

Some women have found some relief following acupuncture treatments. Beta-carotene, essential fatty acids and DIM (diindolylmethane) all may be somewhat helpful in treating the symptoms of this disease.

In Conclusion

There is a great deal of research ongoing to diagnose and treat endometriosis. The FDA approved elagolix (Orilissa) to treat moderate to severe pain for this disease, which did a study with 1,700 women. This disease is painful but not always easily diagnosed. It is important for young women to learn about the symptoms and conservative treatments for endometriosis.

Many years ago, well after the birth of my three sons, I had the major surgery. I felt wonderful after I recovered. I was put on hormones the day after surgery. However, the surgery was painful, and it was a difficult recovery. I am glad to know the treatments are usually more moderate at this time.

References

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2020 Pamela Oglesby

Comments

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on September 24, 2020:

Hi Miebakagh,

Thank you for your comments. You stay safe also.

Miebakagh Fiberesima from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA. on September 24, 2020:

Pamela, you're okay. Stay safe.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on September 23, 2020:

Hi Maria,

I am glad to see you here on Hubpages. You know I always appreciate your lovely comments. I hope you are staying safe and healthy.

Love

Maria Jordan from Jeffersonville PA on September 23, 2020:

Dear Pamela,

This article has the double benefit and credibility of your experience and your work as a nurse.

It's always good to be updated on medical advances - thank you.

Love,

Maria

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on September 19, 2020:

Hi Alyssa

It is good to be proactive when you know this runs in your family. I also believe in getting another opinion if you don't trust the information you have been told. I never knew anything about endometriosis before I was diagnosed. Thank you for sharing your experience and commenting.

Alyssa from Ohio on September 18, 2020:

I've always been extremely proactive about my reproductive health because Endometriosis runs in my family. It's so important to be aware of the symptoms and seek medical attention when things aren't right.This is a disease that doesn't get a lot of attention and can often be misdiagnosed .. so it's equally important to advocate for your health and get a second or third opinion if needed. Your article is incredibly informative! Thank you Pamela! :)

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on September 15, 2020:

Hi Ms Dora,

I am glad you look at my articles as that is my goal. I think it is good for us to understand common problems. Thank you for your comments.

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on September 15, 2020:

Pamela, this is quite an education. Endometriosis is no longer an unfamiliar term. You help us understand our bodies and be more alert to the care we need. Thanks a bunch.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on September 14, 2020:

Hi Charlene,

I am glad to hear you are okay now and drinking the green tea is such a healthy drink. I appreciate your comments.

Charlene Gallant from Cape Town, South Africa on September 14, 2020:

I had minimal superficial lesions that caused extensive pain especially during my periods:( had to have an op and thankfully I seem to be okay. I have taken to green tea drinking as well...great read Pamela. Thank you

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on September 12, 2020:

Hi Devika,

Since this has been misdiagnosed over the years I thought it was important for people to be more informed of the symptoms. Thank you for your very nice comments.

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on September 12, 2020:

Pamela Oglesby An informative and important hub. It is a common health problem for many women and you have in detail informed me about it. Definitely not to be ignored.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on September 12, 2020:

Anupam, I figured you meant year. It is easy to type quickly and make an error. I am glad to her that you are fully recovered.

Anupam Mitu from MUMBAI on September 12, 2020:

I am so sorry for that comment.

Just now checked that. It's not hour but year. What a joke! After an hour I got a daughter!

I'm getting nuts now.

Though your article is indeed informative for many.

When I was diagnosed with this, I was a bit scared as it was said that though it's benign in most of the cases, it can worse. I had a lot of pain in pelvis area. After the operation, I recovered completely.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on September 12, 2020:

Hi Linda,

It was a long time ago for me but I am glad there are better alternatives today. I appreciate your comments. Stay healthy and safe.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on September 12, 2020:

Hi Rajan,

I agree that surgery is always the last resort. Thank you for your comments.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on September 12, 2020:

Hi Anupam,

It is good to hear you were treated and had your daughter. I hope you have no symptoms now. Thank you for sharig your experience in your comments.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on September 11, 2020:

This sounds like a very unpleasant condition. I'm sorry that you experienced it, Pamela. It's good to know that multiple treatments that may help people are available today.

Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on September 11, 2020:

Useful information. Good to know some alternative therapies can provide relief and cure for some people. It is better to try them first than take the surgical route straightaway.

Anupam Mitu from MUMBAI on September 11, 2020:

I too had endometriosis but got operated for that in 2013 after an hour I had my second daughter..

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on September 11, 2020:

Hi Peggy,

I was glad to learn of all the alternative therapies since I had the major surgery. Thank you so much for your comments. Have a nice weekend, Peggy.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on September 11, 2020:

I was fortunate and never suffered from endometriosis. It is good to know that there are alternative therapies that help some women. Thanks for writing another informative article, Pamela. Take care!

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on September 11, 2020:

Hi Vidya,

I am glad you found this article informative. I hope your neice gets relief with the homeopathic medicine. They sure do have less side effects. Thank you for your comments.

VIDYA D SAGAR on September 11, 2020:

Hi Pamela, a very informative and useful article. My niece has this condition along with PCOS because of which she suffers a lot. Thank you for the list of homeopathic medicines which I can ask her to try, to relieve the pain. Moreover homeopathic medicines have lesser side effects and can be safely taken.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on September 11, 2020:

Hi Liz,

You are exactly right and it is sad when it is not diagnosed. Thanks so much for your comments. Have a wonderful weekend.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on September 11, 2020:

Hi JC,

Your comment is apppreciated.

Liz Westwood from UK on September 11, 2020:

I have known friends who have suffered from this. It is a painful condition to have and can cause problems having children. So sad when it is not diagnosed correctly.

JC Scull from Gainesville, Florida on September 11, 2020:

Excellent article Pamela.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on September 11, 2020:

Hi MG,

I am glad this article provided some new information for you. Thanks for commenting.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on September 11, 2020:

Hi Shauna,

I was so glad to see they have improved ways to deal with this disease. In my case I only had the pain during my periods but it was becoming more intens. They were going to remove one ovary, but they ended up taking everything. I felt so much better and took hormones. I didn't want more children.

The symptoms can still be happening after menopause as the ovaries still produce estrogen. I think the symptoms would be milder. Thank you so much for you thoughtful comments. Have a good weekend and stay safe.

MG Singh emge from Singapore on September 11, 2020:

Great information and real education for me. Thank you

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on September 11, 2020:

Pamela, I've known women who had endometriosis, but didn't really know what it was, other than it was most painful when they had their periods.

I'm glad to hear they now have treatments and/or surgeries that remove only the endometriosis tissue. That's much less invasive and permanent. It doesn't make sense to me to completely remove the uterus in order to get rid of outer lesions.

Very informative article, Pamela. I would imagine that once a woman has gone thru menopause, endometriosis is no longer a threat. Am I correct in my assumption?

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on September 11, 2020:

Hi Bill,

I love new information also. I didn't know about the homeopathic treatments until I did the research. I think women should know this information.

You have a happy weekend also. I almost never go anywhere so I am almost always safe. :-)

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on September 11, 2020:

I've heard of it, obviously, but I don't think I ever knew exactly what it was, so thank you, Pamela, for the excellent information. I love information, don't you? Even if it's stuff that doesn't apply to me, I love knowing things. :) Happy Weekend, my friend. Stay safe!

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on September 11, 2020:

Hi Sp

I thought it was important to include homeopathic treatments. I thought this was a good topic as many women do not know about the cause of their symptoms. Thank you for commenting.

Sp Greaney from Ireland on September 11, 2020:

It's definitely one of those conditions that I can see getting misdiagnosed. I think all woman should know more on this condition in case we ever did experience similiar symptoms.

Plus, it is good to know that there is homeopathic treatments that could help ease the symptoms.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on September 11, 2020:

That chutney sounds good an so very healthy, Miebakagh. Thanks for sharing that treatment.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on September 11, 2020:

Hi Rosina,

I think the treatments have improved over the years but I hope they can find a very good way to prevent this disease. Thank you for your comments.

Miebakagh Fiberesima from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA. on September 11, 2020:

Pamela, yes, I've seen and felt how painful the illness is. Right now in my freezer, is a chutney of these ingredints made with tomatoes, onions and peppers. This morning I just scope half a teaspoonful into my chop plate of rice. I'm over 60 and good for my reproductitve health.

Rosina S Khan on September 11, 2020:

I didn't know about Endometriosis.But after reading the article, I am now knowledgeable about the condition, its symptoms, diagnosis and treatments. Hope modern treatments will yield less pain. Thank you, Pamela, for such an educative article.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on September 11, 2020:

Hi Lorna,

I am glad your found this article informative. The recovery from the surgery is long and painful, but it does relieve the problem. Thanks so much for your comments.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on September 11, 2020:

Hi Flourish,

It was long ago for me when I was about forty.. I appreciate your comments.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on September 11, 2020:

Hi Miebakagh,

Those natural remedies are really the best way to treat any disease. You have seen the pain the women have. Thank you for your comments.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on September 11, 2020:

Hi Abby,

I think that is why it is hard to diagnose. That makes sense. I appreciate your comments.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on September 11, 2020:

Hi Lori,

I had a lot of pain during my periods but didn't really know why. Then, they were going to remove an ovary. When I woke up I had a total hysterectomy. I appreciate your comments.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on September 11, 2020:

Hi Cheryl,

Thank you so much for your very nice comments. Much appreciate.

Lorna Lamon on September 11, 2020:

Such a painful condition and as you say Pamela not always easy to diagnose. My aunt had this condition and had tried everything to ease the pain. However, as she already had her family she decided to have surgery. Even though her recovery time was lengthy, she has not regretted it. This is an excellent article which gives a very detailed and informative account of this condition.

FlourishAnyway from USA on September 10, 2020:

I’m sorry to hear about your difficult experience. Thank you for presenting this important information.

Miebakagh Fiberesima from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA. on September 10, 2020:

Pamela, the disease mostly painful. The first time I took note of it years ago, the affect woman was crying loudly. Then when I got married, my wife show the painful symptoms and was given pain reliever. In my part of the country, ladies nowadays make use of ginger, garlic, tumeric, clove and fermented these in water or gin, and taken during the period. Thanks.

Abby Slutsky from America on September 10, 2020:

This was a very informative piece. It seems as though it has symptoms that are common to other diseases, as well. That probably makes it even more confusing to diagnose.

Lori Colbo from Pacific Northwest on September 10, 2020:

This is a terrible condition. When I was in my 20s a woman my age lived across the street who had this condition and her pain was so great. This was well over 40 years ago. I don't know what ever happened to her but I suspect she ended up with a hysterectomy. She had two little ones at the time. I always felt so bad for her. As always, a very thorough job.

Cheryl E Preston from Roanoke on September 10, 2020:

This information will be very valuable to women everywhere. You did a great job explaining endometriosis.