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Endometriosis is one of the highest recorded conditions related to infertility. About 75% of total infertile cases are caused by biological make-up problems, including utero formation and pelvic conditions.
About 30% to 40% of the women suffering from Endrometriosis are also reported to be infertile. Though the relation of endometriosis and infertility is yet to be established, the presence of masses of tissues and scarrings in the pelvic and utero area brought on by the conditions is one of the many causes of infertility.
Endometriosis is defined as the condition wherein Endometrium tissue grows and lines not only the uterine linings, but also organs like intestines, pelvis, vaginal walls, fallopian tubes, etc. These deposits in unlikely areas cause menstruation to backflow onto the fallopian tubes and cause scarrings along the way. These abrasions have been pointed to play a role in infertility.
The endometrial tissues outside the uterus expand and thicken and are shed during the start of a menstrual cycle. When the blood pools in the abdominal cavity, it forms scar tissues that can block the fallopian tubes. As studies have it, the blockages in the fallopian tubes and vaginal canal will prevent the completion of the ovulation cycle and reduce the chances of carrying an embryo upon fertilization.
Additionally, the presence of endometriosis cause hormonal imbalance that directly disrupts ovulation and menstruation cycles. Thus, fertility is affected.
Endometriosis is further categorized into: Reproductive Area Endometriosis, Gastro-intestinal Endometriosis, Urinary Tract Endometriosis, Lung Endometriosis and Skin Endometriosis.
The reproductive area endometriosis involves the growth of tissues in ovaries, outside surface of the uterus, fallopian tubes, and ligaments within the uterus and organs within the abdominal cavity.
Spotting the early signs of Reproductive Area Endometriosis
Knowing when the condition strikes takes a number of diagnoses before a conclusion can be arrived at. Spotting the signs of the condition may be difficult, as Endometriosis does not follow a specific pattern.
Some women who were found to have Endometriosis exhibit the following symptoms:
- Painful menstrual cycle
- Painful sexual intercourse
- Chronic pelvic pain
- Lower back pains
- Irregular Menstruation cycles, with heavy or excessive bleeding
- Painful bowel movements and urination
Experienced during the early hours before the ovulation process, the pain may last for days and well into the menstrual period. The pain is caused by the stretching of the ovaries during ovulation, with which endometrial tissues have grown on the surface of the ovary. The pain is often described to be pinching and stabbing pains in the ovaries and tubes that radiate throughout the pelvic, abdominal and thigh area.
Endometriosis in the main reproductive system is characterized by ectopic pregnancies, dysmenorrheal or painful abdominal cramps during menstrual periods, miscarriages and chronic pelvic pain. With alteration in the uterine shape and make-up, infertility is a most common result of endometriosis.
Treating Endometriosis: Treating Infertility
This condition is considered as a progressive disease that tends to worsen and recur even after several treatments. A Laparoscopy, an outpatient surgical procedure, is often recommended to patients who wish to confirm the diagnosis of the condition. This procedure is necessary to conclude the presence of endometriosis, as it cannot be diagnosed based on the symptoms alone. As such, there are also cases wherein the patient is asymptomatic, or does not exhibit any symptoms at all.
After the diagnosis, your physician will most likely recommend medications and surgery, depending upon the stage of endometriosis (minimal, mild, moderate or extensive). These stages are based on the amount of scarring tissue found. In severe cases, surgery is suggested so as to increase the chances of conception.
Once there is a lessening of the endometrial, the body's hormonal levels will slowly stabilize and encourage regular ovulation and normal menstruation cycles.