Endometriosis


Endometriosis is a condition in which cells similar to those in the endometrium, the layer of tissue that normally covers the inside of the uterus, grow outside of it. Most often this is on the ovaries, Fallopian tubes, and tissue around the uterus and ovaries; however, in rare cases it may also occur in other parts of the body. The main symptoms are pelvic pain and infertility. Nearly half of those affected have chronic pelvic pain, while in 70% pain occurs during menstruation. Pain during sexual intercourse is also common. Infertility occurs in up to half of women affected. Less common symptoms include urinary or bowel symptoms. About 25% of women have no symptoms. Endometriosis can have both social and psychological effects.The cause is not entirely clear. Risk factors include having a family history of the condition. The areas of endometriosis bleed each month, resulting in inflammation and scarring. The growths due to endometriosis are not cancer. Diagnosis is usually based on symptoms in combination with medical imaging, however, biopsy is the most sure method of diagnosis. Other causes of similar symptoms include pelvic inflammatory disease, irritable bowel syndrome, interstitial cystitis, and fibromyalgia.Tentative evidence suggests that the use of combined oral contraceptives reduces the risk of endometriosis. Exercise and avoiding large amounts of alcohol may also be preventive. There is no cure for endometriosis but a number of treatments may improve symptoms. This may include pain medication, hormonal treatments or surgery. The recommended pain medication is usually a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), such as naproxen. Taking the active component of the birth control pill continuously or using an intrauterine device with progestogen may also be useful. Gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist may improve the ability of those who are infertile to get pregnant. Surgical removal of endometriosis may be used to treat those whose symptoms are not manageable with other treatments.One estimate is that 10.8 million people are affected globally as of 2015. Other sources estimate about 6–10% of women are affected. Endometriosis is most common in those in their thirties and forties; however, it can begin in girls as early as 8 years old. It results in few deaths. Endometriosis was first determined to be a separate condition in the 1920s. Before that time, endometriosis and adenomyosis were considered together. It is unclear who first described the disease.