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Consultancy corner: ‘Painful periods a symptom of endometriosis’
Endometriosis is a common gynaecological condition, affecting up to 6- 10 per cent of women, notes Dr Meenakshi Sundaram, gynaecologist at Apollo Hospitals.
The following are some facts on endometriosis as shared by Dr Meenakshi that all women can equip themselves with. Endometriosis occurs when endometrial tissue grows on your ovaries, bowel, and tissues lining your pelvis, states the medical expert. This tissue trapped in your pelvis can cause irritation, scar formation, adhesions, in which tissue binds your pelvic organs together and cause severe pain during your periods and fertility problems There is no known cause of endometriosis but it is highly likely that certain genes predispose women to develop the disease. The symptoms of endometriosis include painful periods, painful ovulation, pain during or after sexual intercourse, heavy bleeding, chronic pelvic pain, fatigue, and infertility, and can impact on general physical, mental, and social well-being.
Endometriosis can be diagnosed with the symptoms, clinical examination and a good ultrasound. Sometimes MRI may be required. Sometimes it may be picked up only during a laparoscopic procedure. Once diagnosed based on the size of the cyst or the severity of the endometriosis, treatment can be medical or surgical.
Many young women with endometriosis pain and small cysts can be treated with medications for six months with many hormonal combinations and mostly it resolves. If there is no response to medical treatment or if the size of the cyst is big or if there is severe pain or infertility issues surgery may be required. Sometimes adjacent organs like the colon or urinary bladder can get involved with the disease. These may have to be surgically managed. Surgery can be performed by laparoscopy and recovery is really fast. Laparoscopic procedures enable better visualization and precise dissection of the lesion. Most of these procedures can be daycare. The cyst and lesions can be excised and future fertility becomes better. Some advanced lesions may require complete excision. Endometriosis is an enigmatic disease but can be well treated if approached at the right time.
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