Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Endometriosis Awareness Month: Know about its signs and symptoms

Roughly 190 million women and girls of reproductive age are affected by endometriosis globally.

By India Today Health Desk: Endometriosis is a disease in which tissue like the endometrial tissue, which is the inner lining of the uterus, migrates to areas outside the uterus.

This disease causes chronic inflammatory reactions that may result in the formation of scars (adhesions, fibrosis) within the pelvis and other parts of the body, as per the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Roughly 190 million women and girls of reproductive age are affected by this disease globally. An early diagnosis of endometriosis is needed as most people often confuse it with menstrual cramps.

Since it is a complex disease, endometriosis affects most women from the onset of their first period through menopause, regardless of ethnic origin or social status.

As per WHO, incidences of endometriosis are on the rise, perhaps due to retrograde menstruation, stem cells giving rise to diseases and cellular metaplasia.

Endometriosis can decrease the quality of life due to severe pain, fatigue, depression, anxiety and infertility. Other symptoms of the disease include painful periods, chronic pelvic pain, pain during/or after sexual intercourse, painful bowel movements, painful urination and abdominal bloating and nausea.

Treatment for endometriosis

At present, there is no known way of preventing endometriosis. However, awareness and early diagnosis and management can slow or halt the natural progression of the disease. It can also reduce the long-term burden of its symptoms.

Contraceptive steroids, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications and painkillers are common therapies.

Surgery could remove endometriosis lesions, adhesions and scar tissue. However, the success of surgery in reducing pain and increasing chances of pregnancy rates are often dependent on the extent of the disease.

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