What Is Endometriosis?

What Is Endometriosis?

Many women experience excruciating pain and fatigue during their periods every month. In India, over 25 million women are affected by this debilitating condition. If left untreated or undetected, this endometriosis can lead to serious consequences such as a cyst that can grow or rupture, infertility, uterine enlargement, and extreme pain. Many women in the reproductive age group of 15-49 years old are affected by this ailment and are unaware of it. Delayed diagnosis due to a lack of understanding, result in unnecessary pain and a lower quality of life. This is a progressive condition, which is rarely spoken about and seldom understood owing to the taboos around menstruation. March is observed as Endometriosis Awareness Month, let us discuss, ask questions and seek medical care for endometriosis.

What is Endometriosis?

Endometriosis is a condition in which the endometrium (the tissue that lines the interior of the uterus or womb) grows outside of it. Endometriosis most typically affects the lower abdomen and pelvis, however it can manifest itself everywhere in the body. The normal tissue surrounding the endometriosis implants becomes inflamed, swells, and scars as a result of this. This condition affects nearly 10% of women in their reproductive years. Some of the common symptoms include:

  • Excessive menstrual cramps.
  • Abnormal or heavy menstrual flow.
  • Painful urination during menstrual periods.
  • Pain during intercourse.
  • Painful bowel movements during menstrual periods.

It’s crucial to remember that the amount of pain a woman feels isn’t always proportional to the severity of her sickness. Some women with severe endometriosis have no symptoms, however others with a milder type of the illness may have severe pain or other symptoms.

Endometriosis and Fertility

Endometriosis affects 20 to 40% of women who are unable to conceive. Endometriosis is thought to influence fertility in two ways: first, by distorting the fallopian tubes, making them unable to pick up the egg after ovulation, and second, by generating inflammation that can affect the ovary, egg, fallopian tubes, or uterus’s function. Consult a fertility specialist for further care and asisstance.

Risk factors of Endometriosis

These factors highly increase your risk of getting this condition:

  • Family history.
  • Late pregnancy.
  • Women with an abnormal uterus.
  • No children.
  • Menstrual periods that last more than seven days.
  • Short menstrual cycles.

Diagnosing Endometriosis

Do not hesitate to seek medical assistance for painful periods. A gynaecologist will evaluate your medical history, complete a pelvic examination and conduct additional tests as required. Here are a few simple ways to ease the pain of endometriosis:

  • Rest, relax and meditate.
  • Take warm baths.
  • Prevent constipation.
  • Get regular exercise.
  • Use a hot water bottle or heating pad on your abdomen.

Endometriosis: Myths and Facts

Let us dispel some of the most common myths around Endometriosis:

Myth: Severe menstrual pain is normal.
Fact: It’s not normal to have painful periods that interfere with your regular activities. This could be a symptom of endometriosis, a disease in which tissue that normally lines your uterus develops elsewhere in your abdomen. Consult a doctor for further diagnosis.

Myth: No one with endometriosis can get pregnant.
Fact: That is not true. This condition affects over 40% of women who are unable to conceive. Some women with endometriosis are able to conceive on their own, without the assistance of a doctor. Others may be able to conceive with medical assistance.

Myth: Hysterectomy treats endometriosis.
Fact: Hysterectomy isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach for endometriosis treatment. Although uterine excision may provide comfort for some persons with this illness, it is not a cure. Endometriosis symptoms may remain or reappear following a hysterectomy.

Myth: Pregnancy can cure endometriosis.
Fact: Pregnancy does not cure endometriosis. During pregnancy, some women see improvements in their symptoms, while others do not, and still others may have a worsening of symptoms. This may happen due to hormonal changes. Seek medical attention.

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