Endometriosis is a medical condition affecting women. In this disease, cells that are like the endometrial type show up and thrive in locations that are not within the woman's uterine cavity, leading to certain endometriosis symptoms. The place where this frequently occurs is in the patient's ovaries. It is thought that this condition affects somewhere between 5 and 10 percent of women.
When these cells show up in other areas, they are affected by hormonal changes in a way that is similar to the actual endometrial cells found in the uterine cavity. This leads to what are known as endometriosis symptoms. The common symptom -- though it is not found in every case -- is pelvic pain. The pain that is related to this condition can appear in a number of ways, and some of those are included in the list of symptoms. Typically, the most severely painful time is during menstruation. Keep in mind that these issues can be brought on due to other medical reasons, and also that this list is not exhaustive.
Chronic pelvic pain
Frequent urination and an urge to urinate
Gastrointestinal symptoms (similar to IBS)
Leg / thigh pain (can be severe)
Low blood glucose levels (hypoglycemia)
Painful bowel movements
Painful sex (dyspareunia)
Severe pain (either with or without menstruation)
There is no known, particular cause of endometriosis. Various different theories have been proposed, and it may be possible that more than one is involved in such situations. There are at least nine theories that have been offered. A genetic factor is considered to be involved, as sisters and daughters of endometriosis patients have a higher incidence of personally developing the disease. Certain environmental factors, such as particular plastics, are suspected as possibly leading to the condition.
A doctor or medical professional is involved in the diagnostic process for this condition. Surgery is currently the top option for looking into whether or not someone has the disease. A suspected case might be found through a physical exam and a check of the individual's medical history. Actual diagnosis does not occur merely on the basis of existing endometriosis symptoms.
As of when this was written, no cure for this disease is known. However, menopause that occurs either naturally or by surgery frequently puts an end to the condition. Otherwise, treatment revolves around relieving pain and other endometriosis symptoms, slowing progress of the endometriosis process, and attempting to retain fertility (or bring it back) if that is called for in the particular case. Certain methods that can be used in treatment include hormones and other medications, surgery, and more.