What is Endometriosis?
Endometriosis is a complex disorder that can affect women of any age, but especially those with a menstrual cycle. In endometriosis, cells similar to the ones present in the lining of the womb (called endometrial cells) can be found in other places in the body such as the ovaries or fallopian tubes. As a consequence, the cyclic monthly hormonal changes affect those tissues the same way they affect the lining of the womb, leading to bleeding, formation of scar tissue, pain and inflammation in those places. It is a very distressing condition that can often remain undiagnosed.
Symptoms of Endometriosis
Symptoms of Endometriosis can vary considerably, some women may not have any symptoms although some can be severely affected. These can range from severe period pain that stops you doing your work or normal daily activities. Pelvic pain radiating to lower abdomen and back can be difficult to manage with regular painkillers. This is usually worse during a period when there is intense muscle cramps and inflammation.
All other aspects of life can be affected including sex life as it can be very painful to have intimate relationship. Bowel movements particularly during the time of period can be painful and therefore result to changes in bowel habits.
As pain can be intense throughout day and night, this can disturb restful sleep and cause fatigue and low mood.
Women with endometriosis can experience fertility problems.