Endometriosis (colloquially referred to as endo, but also misspelled as endometreosis and endemetriosis) affects some 89 million women of reproductive age around the world. With endometriosis, the endometrial tissue from the uterus is found outside the womb in other areas of the body. Under normal circumstances, the endometrium leaves the body each month through menses (unless conception occurs). In endometriosis, the misplaced endometrium has no way of leaving the body. The tissues, however, still follow the rise and fall of estrogen and progesteron, breaking down and bleeding as if they were still in the womb, with many of the following symptoms taking place in the woman’s body:
— internal bleeding,
— degeneration of blood and tissue shed from the growths,
— inflammation of the surrounding areas, and
— formation of scar tissue.
In addition, the growths can interfere with the normal function of the bowel, bladder, intestines and other areas of the pelvic cavity. Endometriosis has also been found lodged in the skin, the lungs, the diaphragm and even the brain.
A major symptom of endometriosis is recurring pelvic pain. The pain can be mild to severe cramping that occurs on both sides of the pelvis, in the lower back and rectal area, and even down the legs. The amount of pain a woman feels correlates poorly with the extent or stage (1 through 4) of endometriosis, with some women having little or no pain despite having extensive endometriosis or endometriosis with scarring, while, on the other hand, other women may have severe pain even though they have only a few small areas of endometriosis. Symptoms of endometriosis-related 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
Throbbing, gnawing, and dragging pain to the legs are reported more commonly by women with endometriosis. Compared with women with superficial endometriosis, those with deep disease appear to be more likely to report shooting rectal pain and a sense of their insides being pulled down. Individual pain areas and pain intensity appears to be unrelated to the surgical diagnosis, and the area of pain unrelated to area of endometriosis.
Many women with infertility may have endometriosis. As endometriosis can lead to anatomical distortions and adhesions (the fibrous bands that form between tissues and organs following recovery from an injury), the causality may be easy to understand; however, the link between infertility and endometriosis remains enigmatic when the extent of endometriosis is limited. It has been suggested that endometriotic lesions release factors which are detrimental to gametes or embryos, or, alternatively, endometriosis may more likely develop in women who fail to conceive for other reasons and thus be a secondary phenomenon; for this reason it is preferable to speak of endometriosis-associated infertility in such cases. In some cases it can take a woman with endometriosis 7–10 years to conceive her first child, to most couples this can be stressful and daunting.
Here is an interesting video how to cure endometriosis. It appears the holistic principle of listening to the body first and only then deciding upon therapy, sat particularly well in this case.