While endometriosis is a typical situation, affecting as many as one in each 10 American ladies, it’s complicated and sometimes misunderstood. Endometriosis happens when tissue very similar to the tissue that usually strains the uterus — known as the endometrium — begins to develop elsewhere within the physique. These growths might trigger ache, scarring, and, in some situations, infertility.
One research exhibits it could possibly take as much as seven years for a girl to get a analysis of endometriosis as a result of signs might mimic different widespread circumstances, similar to irritable bowel syndrome or pelvic inflammatory illness. And misconceptions about the illness, together with the 5 myths beneath, might maintain some ladies from searching for assist. Talk to your well being care crew for those who’re involved about painful intervals or different doable signs of endometriosis, similar to long-lasting ache in your decrease again or pelvis.
5 myths — and the details — about endometriosis
Myth 1: The signs are only a heavy interval.(*5*) Women with endometriosis generally assume that their signs are a traditional a part of menstruation, and once they do search assist they’re generally dismissed as overreacting to regular menstrual signs. But in reality, one thing rather more severe is occurring than interval cramps. One idea is that the ache happens as a result of even when endometrium-like tissue is outdoors the uterus, it continues to reply to hormonal indicators and produce chemical substances that trigger irritation and ache.
During the course of the menstrual cycle, this endometrium-like tissue thickens and finally bleeds. But in contrast to endometrial tissue within the uterus, which is ready to drain via the vagina every month, blood from displaced tissue has nowhere to go. Instead, it swimming pools close to the affected organs and tissues, irritating and inflaming them. The result’s ache, and generally the event of scar tissue that may type an internet, fusing organs collectively. This might result in ache with motion or sexual exercise.
Myth 2: Endometriosis solely impacts the pelvic area.(*5*) The most typical areas for endometriosis growths to happen are throughout the pelvis, similar to on the outer floor of the uterus, the bladder, and the fallopian tubes. But endometriosis might happen anyplace within the physique. Rarely, endometrium-like tissue has been discovered within the lungs, for instance.
Myth 3: Endometriosis is at all times painful.(*5*) Not everybody with endometriosis experiences ache. It’s not unusual for a girl to be taught she has endometriosis solely after she begins investigating why she is having issue getting pregnant. Endometriosis is the main reason for infertility within the United States. Having the situation additionally will increase the probability of miscarriage and different issues in being pregnant. However, the great news is that the overwhelming majority of girls with endometriosis are finally capable of have a toddler.
Myth 4: Endometriosis will be prevented.(*5*) There’s no clearly understood trigger for endometriosis, so at this level there isn’t a identified approach to stop it. Certain steps to assist decrease estrogen ranges within the physique can scale back your threat, in accordance with the US Office of Women’s Health. Estrogen can gasoline the expansion of endometriosis and amplify signs. You can scale back your estrogen ranges by selecting a lower-estrogen contraception methodology, dropping pounds if you’re obese, and getting common train.
Myth 5: Endometriosis at all times improves after menopause.(*5*) Although endometriosis signs happen most frequently throughout menstruation, for some ladies they final nicely after month-to-month cycles finish. Even after a lady goes via menopause, the ovaries proceed to provide small quantities of estrogen. Endometriosis growths might proceed to reply to the hormone, inflicting ache. So, whereas signs of endometriosis enhance in many ladies, menopause doesn’t deliver reduction to all. Some ladies who’ve gone via menopause might go for surgical procedures to take away endometriosis implants or adhesions, and even hysterectomy and oophorectomy (eradicating the ovaries). However, these procedures aren’t at all times profitable in controlling ache. Hormonal therapies, too, look like much less efficient in ladies after menopause.
For data about treating endometriosis ache, see this publish from the Harvard Health Blog.
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