This is a relatively common condition and can affect any woman, from adolescence to menopause, as the tissue grows. Find out more about this condition.
What is endometriosis?
Endometriosis is a common problem in women of reproductive age, ranked third among gynecological problems, and consists of the presence of endometrial tissue outside the uterine cavity. The most frequent sites where this tissue is located are the pelvic peritoneum, the ovaries, the cul-de-sac and the tube ligaments.
Risk factors that have been associated with endometriosis are: mother or sisters with a history of endometriosis, heavy menstruation, short menstrual cycles and early menarche, as these women appear to be exposed to a greater amount of endometrial tissue.
Endometriosis, a common problem
Endometriosis affects 10-15% of women of childbearing age, from the onset of menstruation until after the menopause. Between 30% and 40% of these cases have difficulties in having a baby.
When does the disease occur?
Endometriosis is a problem exclusive to the reproductive age, as it is directly related to the growth of endometrial tissue stimulated by hormones during the menstrual cycle. It begins with menarche and is a progressive disease, which is why it is sometimes not detected during puberty but later in life.
What are the most common symptoms?
The predominant symptom is intense pain during menstruation, which begins prior to menstrual flow and increases until it becomes intense during heavy flow and begins to decrease until it disappears with the cessation of menstruation; this pain is characterized by being progressive and incapacitating as age advances. In addition to pelvic pain, back pain, dyspareunia, pain during defecation, pain when changing position and, in extreme cases, pain during urination may occur.
It is very important to emphasize that each case is different, while some women with complicated cases of endometriosis show no symptoms, others with mild endometriosis may experience the pain that is characteristic of this condition.
Causes of endometriosis
Today the causes of endometriosis are held in theories that attempt to explain the main reason for the condition.
One theory considers retrograde menstrual flow to be the cause. This occurs when menstruation flows back through the fallopian tubes, dragging the cells inside and causing them to remain in the uterus, which encourages endometrial tissue to attach and grow in places where it should not. Another cause may be heredity - if a family member has had endometriosis, you are likely to have it.
Can I have a baby if I live with endometriosis?
The answer is yes, regardless of whether it affects fertility. In order to have a baby when a woman is living with endometriosis, it is very important to have a diagnosis from a specialist, as this way we will have a professional opinion and a personalized recommendation for the patient to become a mother.
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