Abnormal cell growth of endometrial cells in locations outside the uterine lining is a condition commonly known as endometriosis. Although the condition does not always cause infertility, it is more prevalent in infertile than fertile women. Upper East Side endometriosis may at times not present any symptoms. However, pelvic pain and painful intercourse are some of the reasons why most women seek treatment.
What causes endometriosis?
Every month, during menstruation, endometrial tissues are shed. Endometrial implants are endometrial tissue found in areas outside the uterine lining like the ovaries, bowel, fallopian tubes, vagina, cervix, and bladder. Although non-cancerous (benign) endometriosis can become problematic to the patient depending on the severity of the condition.
What are the four stages of endometriosis?
Classification of endometriosis depends on three factors:
The presence and location of scar tissue and the size of the implants in the ovaries contribute to classification. The four stages of endometriosis include:
Minimal and mild are stages characterized by superficial endometrial implants. Moreover, the condition exhibits mild scarring. Cysts are signs prevalent in moderate and severe endometriosis. Severe scarring and infertility are other common symptoms of stage four endometriosis.
What are the signs and symptoms of endometriosis?
Although most women do not experience symptoms, pain is the most common sign and symptom to watch out for.; this symptom varies every month. Pelvic pain becomes unbearable during menstruation. Sometimes a woman might experience pain during pelvic medical assessments. It is not uncommon for women with endometriosis to experience painful intercourse or have cramping when passing bowel or urine.
It is essential to be aware of the endometrial tissue location because this influences the severity of pain. Endometrial implants located in areas with high nerve density can cause the woman to experience more pain. Furthermore, there is pain whenever the implants release substances into the bloodstream or cause scar tissue formation.
Another common symptom of endometriosis is infertility. Endometriosis lesions may affect critical processes like ovulation, fertilization, and implantation through the production of inflammatory substances. Moreover, the formation of scar tissue in the pelvis, particularly the ovaries and fallopian tube, may hinder egg transfer, thus causing diminished infertility in otherwise fertile couples.
Other symptoms of endometriosis include:
- Irregular or heavy menstruation
- Lower abdominal and back pain
- Chronic fatigue
- Bloody and painful urination
If an endometriosis implant occurs in the lungs, the patient may cough blood and experience chest pain. Seizure and chronic headache are symptoms that occur due to endometriosis in the brain.
Does endometriosis increase your risk of developing cancer?
Endometriosis implants may undergo malignant transformation leading to cancer. For this reason, the presence of endometriosis may increase your risk of developing specific tumors like ovarian cancer. Moreover, certain genetic and environmental factors coupled with endometriosis may be why you develop ovarian cancer.
It is essential to visit your doctor for a physical assessment and review of your symptoms to confirm endometriosis diagnosis; thus, start a treatment protocol to eliminate your discomfort and reduce your risk of developing cancer. Contact New York Fertility Institute to schedule an appointment with your qualified endometriosis specialist.