(from endo, "inside", and metra, "womb") is a gynecological medical condition in which cells from the lining of the uterus (endometrium) appear and flourish outside the uterine cavity, most commonly on the ovaries. The uterine cavity is lined by endometrial cells, which are under the influence of female hormones. These endometrial-like cells in areas outside the uterus (endometriosis) are influenced by hormonal changes and respond in a way that is similar to the cells found inside the uterus. Symptoms often worsen with the menstrual cycle.
Endometriosis is typically seen during the reproductive years; it has been estimated that endometriosis occurs in roughly 5-10% of women. Symptoms may depend on the site of active endometriosis. Its main but not universal symptom is pelvic pain in various manifestations. Endometriosis is a common finding in women with infertility.
The exact cause of endometriosis is actually idiopathic (unknown cause)
Signs and Symptoms
-Symptoms of endometriosis-related pain (pelvic pain) may include
dysmenorrhea – painful, sometimes disabling cramps during menses; pain may get worse over time (progressive pain), also lower back pains linked to the pelvis
chronic pelvic pain – typically accompanied by lower back pain or abdominal pain
dyspareunia – painful sex
dysuria – urinary urgency, frequency, and sometimes painful voiding
-Infertility- Many women with infertility may have endometriosis.
Other symptoms may be present, including:
heavy or long uncontrollable menstrual periods with small or large blood clots
gastrointestinal problems including diarrhea, bloating and painful defecation
extreme pain in legs and thighs
mild to extreme pain during intercourse
pain from adhesions which may bind an ovary to the side of the pelvic wall, or they may extend between the bladder and the bowel,uterus, etc.
extreme pain with or without the presence of menses
mild to severe fever
hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)
In general, the diagnosis of endometriosis is confirmed during surgery, at which time ablative steps can be taken. Further steps depend on circumstances: patients without infertility can be managed with hormonal medication that suppress the natural cycle and pain medication, while infertile patients may be treated expectantly after surgery, with fertility medication, or with Invitro ferilization (IVF).
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