With Abayomi Ajayi
AS one of the most misunderstood diseases in women’s health, endometriosis is also one of the leased diagnosed. An enigmatic condition known for more than a century but still not fully understood, endometriosis is known to exist in more than one quarter of infertile women.
While some types of it need to be treated by surgery, others require use of medication while in most patients, combining both methods may be the best approach.
Endometriosis occurs when the endometrium, which is the lining of the uterus, attaches itself to other organs outside of the uterus. During menstruation the endometrium lining is shed from the uterus, but the lining that has attached outside the uterus has no way of leaving the body.
This lining continues to be aggravated at the times of ovulation and menstruation and can break down and bleed, tear away, or form painful scar tissue.
These implants or lesions grow abnormally, leading to pain and discomfort. The condition affects several millions of women and is a leading cause of female infertility, chronic pelvic pain, and harbinger of several gynaecologic surgeries.
Surprisingly, there is no known cause for this condition although there are few possibilities, but nothing has been proven conclusively. One of the possible causes is that during menstruation, menstrual tissue enters the fallopian tubes and the abdominal cavity, and implants.
We generally believe that all women experience some type of back up at some point, but women who have immune problems go on to develop endometriosis.
Another theory is that endometriosis is a genetic birth abnormality in which the endometrial cells develop outside of the uterus during fetal development.
Once this female is grown and begins to experience menstruation, these misplaced cells become lesions or implants that cause pain and discomfort.
There is also a genetic theory that is being studied worldwide by doctors which bases strong evidence on the idea that endometriosis is hereditary.
There is evidence that women with a family history of endometriosis are more likely to have daughters who suffer from the disease.
•Continues next Tuesday