I am sorry for putting on my invisible cloak last week, I had quite a busy week and I couldn’t pull off blogging. Monday means serious business and since it is almost over already we are going to hit the nail right on the head. The month of March is the Endometriosis Awareness Month and in that spirit I have put up this post, just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist so let’s learn something today shall we?
What is Endometriosis?
Endometriosis occurs when tissues normally found inside the uterus grows in other parts of the body. Endometrial tissue consists of glands, blood cells and connective tissues which normally grow in the uterus and prepare the lining of the womb for ovulation. It may attach to the ovaries, fallopian tubes exterior of the uterus, the bowel or other internal parts.
Incidence of Endometriosis
30-40 percent of Nigerian women who live in Nigeria, suffer from Endometriosis- The Bridge Clinic, 2017.
Endometriosis affects between 6 and 10 percent of women of reproductive age worldwide- Wilson D.R., 2018.
More than 5.5million American women have symptoms of endometriosis- Web MD, 2018.
What causes Endometriosis?
The exact cause of Endometriosis is not completely known or understood. But there are several theories as to what can cause endometriosis. They are:
1) Where menstrual blood doesn’t flow out normally but enters the fallopian tubes and pelvis.
2) Surgical scar whereby endometrial cells move during a procedure like hysterectomy or C-section.
3) When the lymphatic system transports endometrial cells to other parts of the body.
4) Genetic inheritance where a family member had such disease. It can be passed on to the next generation.
5) Endometriosis is stimulated by the estrogen hormone.
What are the symptoms of Endometriosis?
Pain just before, during or after menstruation is the most common. Pain during or after sex is also one. The symptoms may be related to the location of the growth.
Most women have some mild pain with their menstrual periods. If the pain lasts more than 2 days and even remains after period and keeps one from normal activities, one should see a doctor.
What are the risk factors of Endometriosis?
It is most common in women and the risk factors are:
1) Women in their 30s and 40s
2) Women who haven’t had children
3) Women who have periods longer than 7 days
4) Those with a cycle shorter than 28 days
5) Genetic inheritance
6) Medical history of pelvic infection, uterine abnormalities
7) Caffeine and alcohol consumption, lack of exercise which can cause estrogen to rise.
How can Endometriosis be diagnosed?
It can be diagnosed with the use of Ultrasound, Laparoscopy, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), Pelvic examination and clerking patient to find out history and symptoms.
How can Endometriosis be treated?
1) With the use of pain medications like acetaminophen, NSAIDs like ibuprofen. These medications relieve pain and treat symptoms not the underlying endometriosis.
2) Oral contraceptives which will help control estrogen level
3) Excision during laparoscopy
Most women get relief when they get pregnant or when menopause occurs.
I believe you have learnt something today, I equally did too whilst typing this post.
Elections are over, leaders have been declared and Aisha (once again) has a very very very short poem to that effect. See you tomorrow.
Best blogging regards,