Endometriosis is one of the most common gynecological disorders which affect 5.5 million women in the U.S. and 176 million women worldwide. It is a chronic disorder found within the pelvic area of women. This disease is found to affect women of all ethnic and social backgrounds. While it has not yet been determines exactly what causes endometriosis there seems to be certain trends that may contribute to this disease. There also seems to be a link this being a hereditary disease. Symptoms can vary widely from case to case which can sometimes make it hard to diagnose endometriosis in the beginning. Endometriosis has 4 stages or classifications which are minimal, mild, moderate and severe which are used to describe the anatomic location and the severity of the disorder. Symptoms can be as minimal as mild cramping and be as devastating as infertility. There is no known cure for endometriosis but women do have treatment options to relieve the pain and to help with fertility problems that may be a result of endometriosis. The only true way to diagnose endometriosis is by performing a pelvic laparoscopy. But ultrasound is a way to pick up on signs of endometriosis.
Endometriosis is a chronic, progressive disorder in which tissue resembling the inner lining of the uterus known as endometrium grows and appears at unusual locations in the lower abdominal cavity. It is a condition that occurs when the endometrium, tissue that lines the inside of the uterus, grows outside of the uterus. During your menstrual cycle the endometrium thickens to get ready for the egg. If the egg is fertilized, it will attach to the endometrium and begin to
grow. If the egg is not fertilized, the endometrium breaks down and is flushed from your body as blood which is known as a menstrual cycle. When a woman has endometriosis the tissue outside the uterus, called implants, breaks down but cannot leave the body. Endometriosis lesions can be found anywhere in the pelvic cavity. The following are the most common areas it will be found; on the ovaries, the fallopian tubes, on the pelvic side-wall (peritoneum), and the uterosacral ligaments. It can also be found on the on the intestines, colon, appendix, and rectum, on the bladder, and on the bowel. The trapped blood can lead to the growth of cysts, which may form scar tissue or adhesions, causing pain especially during your period. The scars and adhesions may cause fertility problems. Endometrial implants vary in color and shape. They may be small as pinpoints or as large as a grapefruit. These lesions can also lead to the growth of “chocolate cysts” with are filled with old blood that had not been shed from the body.
It has been estimated that this disorder affects 10-15% of women during their reproductive age. It is most commonly found in women between the ages of 20-30 years old when the estrogen levels are at their highest. But it can affect women between the ages of 20-40. Women of all ethnicities and social backgrounds...