Source: gynoveda.com


Are your periods painful? Do they last for longer than a week with the heavy flow? Are you facing difficulty getting pregnant? If the answer to these questions is YES, then ladies beware! You might be struggling with the early symptoms of endometriosis.

176 million women worldwide are reported to have been diagnosed with endometriosis. So it isn’t that uncommon a disease. In India itself, endometriosis is identified in more than 1 million people every year. Endometriosis is principally manifested as pelvic or lower abdominal pain and infertility. The intensity of the pain varies depending upon the location in the body affected by it.

Read ahead for a brief outline on endometriosis and everything that you need to know about it.



Endometriosis is a benevolent but chronic or long-lasting gynecological disease. It is characterized by the growth of the endometrium i.e the inner lining of the uterus outside the uterine cavity or outer muscular layer of the uterus, also known as the myometrium.

The endometriosis definition was first given by Baron Carl Von Rokitansky, a German physician in 1860. The basic endometriosis meaning can be communicated as a medical abnormality marked by the growth of tissue similar to the endometrial tissue in locations outside the womb. The locations mainly involve the ovaries, the fallopian tubes, the excretory tract or bowels, and areas around the uterus.

These tissues, like the endometrial tissues inside the tissue, thicken up and then break down monthly during every menstrual cycle of a woman. Unfortunately, these endometrial tissues do not have a passage to get discharged from the body as it is in the case of the uterine tissues through the vagina. This leads to a variety of complications and issues like the formation of lesions and adhesion. In the case of adhesion, the pelvic organs affected by endometriosis are at risk of getting stuck to each other.{1}



Source: tumbral.com

While endometriosis is pretty common in all women in their childbearing ages, the disease is mostly reported by women in their 30s and beyond. The exact endometriosis causes are unknown to us and are an arena of active medical research. Some of the causes of endometriosis according to popular theories surrounding it are:

  • Retrogressive menstrual cycles can be a cause of endometriosis. The theory is that some of the tissues that are to be thrown out with the menstrual blood are sent back due to the backward flow of the blood. These tissues in turn enter the fallopian tubes and the ovaries.
  • Genetic inheritance can be a reason behind endometriosis. It is significantly more prevalent in women who have someone in a close family suffering from it as well.
  • Problems associated with the immune system can lead to the body’s failure to detect and destroy endometrial tissues found outside the womb.
  • Disbalances between the reproductive hormones i.e estrogen and progesterone. Endometriosis is an estrogen-dependent disease, which means that excess estrogen levels as compared to the progesterone level in the woman’s body can lead to endometriosis
  • Surgeries in the abdominal region like a cesarean in which endometrial tissue can be implanted in the surrounding areas of the uterus by mistake during the operation.{2} 


The symptoms of endometriosis are often difficult to identify in their early stages. Some of the endometriosis symptoms to look out for are as follows:

  • Increased abdominal pain before the onset of the menstrual cycle
  • Pain during sexual intercourse sometimes leading to cramps
  • Pain while passing stools or urine
  • Problems related to fertility
  • Chronic diarrhea or constipation
  • Lower back pain
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Irregular or heavy menses
  • Bleeding during urination
  • Chest pain, headaches, and seizures ( rarely, when endometrial tissues reach the lungs and the brain respectively) 


Endometriosis can be treated with the help of medications and surgeries in case the medications do not work for an individual. But the flip side to it is that even with the availability of endometriosis treatment, it is recurrent i.e there is no permanent cure for it. Early identification followed by appropriate treatment is the most important thing for patients suffering from endometriosis.

The most common forms of treatment that doctors suggest for managing and easing out the pain associated with endometriosis are listed below:

  • Use of birth control pills in either an extended or continuous manner.
  • The use of IUDs or intrauterine devices can help to alleviate the pain and reduce heavy bleeding.
  • In case the woman is trying to get pregnant, the doctors prescribe a gonadotropin-releasing hormone or GnRH inhibitor. These medicines induce temporary menopause in the body and control further growth of the endometrium-like tissues.
  • Use painkillers like Advil, Motrin, and Aleve.
  • Alternative medicinal therapies like homeopathy, acupuncture, etc.
  • Surgeries are usually advised as a last resort when the condition gets very severe and all the other forms of treatments mentioned above are rendered ineffective.


Endometriosis becomes less severe during pregnancy after menopause since the body stops producing enough estrogen required to aid the growth of the endometrial tissues. It is a myth that endometriosis is cured if one gets pregnant. The disease resurrects after childbirth as the estrogen levels return to normal. Surgeries too might only help in diminishing the symptoms but cannot get rid of endometriosis completely.


Source: pinterest.com

The only viable option to deal with this chronic disease effectively is to adapt to a healthy lifestyle including a balanced diet, regular exercise, and a good night’s sleep.

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