●Endometriosis is a medical condition where the endometrium is formed in organs other than the uterus, and it is spreading among teenagers as they approach adulthood.
Endometriosis is a medical condition where a tissue of the endometrium is formed in places other than the endometrium. What is formed within the myometrium is called an adenomyosis of the uterus; and what turns into a hematoma when blood accumulates in the ovary to become a hematoma is called a chocolate cyst. Wherever it may develop, it repeats its cycle of growth and bleeding, concurrently with the menstrual cycle. However, there being no exit for the blood, it becomes a hematoma; or adheres to other organs, and causes intense pain. There are various views as to the mechanism and causes for endometriosis, but nothing has become clear yet. It is often found in women in their 20’s and 30’s, but recently cases have been increasing where teenagers have endometriosis.
●A cause for Infertility!? What is a “chocolate cyst” triggered by endometriosis?
If endometriosis is formed within the ovary, every time menstrual bleeding occurs the blood is accumulated little by little. As a result the ovary becomes enlarged and pultaceous. As this state is like chocolate, it is called “chocolate cyst”. This cyst not only causes infertility, but also causes nausea or intense lower abdominal pain when it grows big and bursts.
Check for major symptoms of endometrium!
●Menstrual pain, coital pain during sexual intercourse, or bowel pain as well
Direct symptoms of endometriosis are menstrual or ovulatory pain; pain in the abdomen even when it is not the menstrual period; or coital pain during sexual intercourse. Use the check sheet to check yourself.
●Endometriosis check sheet.
Medical conditions which require attention due to prolonged menstruation are “Uterine myoma” and “Endometriosis”. Here, we shall check some major symptoms of “Endometriosis”. Should any apply, consult a gynecologist.
●What is “catamenial pneumothorax” found in people with endometriosis?
Endometriosis is mainly seen in reproduction organs, but tissues of endometriosis are in a very few cases dispersed in organs other than the uterus. This spreads to the diaphragm, lungs and pleura; and before or after ovulation or menstruation each month, where there is an impact, causing such symptoms as pneumothorax (difficulty in breathing due to air leaking out from the lungs, which makes it hard to take in air) or chest pain. This is “catamenial pneumothorax”. In many cases, it develops in the right lung, and is found in patients who have originally developed endometriosis.
Treatment methods for Endometriosis
●If the symptoms are mild, wait and see the state of things while taking pain-relievers.
The causes for endometriosis have yet to be clarified. However, it does not happen in adolescence or postmenopausal, thus it seems to have a relationship with the follicle hormone, which is a kind of female hormone. It is not a malignant disease, so if there are no symptoms such as pain or infertility; you should avoid treatment that would be a burden on the body, and wait and see how the states of things go. However, even in such a case, you must have regular medical checkups. Moreover, even if the symptoms are distinct, if the endometriosis is at a comparatively mild stage, you may wait and see the state of things by taking pain-relievers or Chinese-medicine to alleviate the pain.
●Considering hormone treatment as an alternative if your life is affected
If you are suffering from painful symptoms, hormone treatment is given to stop menstruation artificially and put the focus to rest, in order to improve the symptoms or suppress its progress. Because it creates a similar state to that of pregnancy or menopause, the treatment is called pseudo menopause therapy or pseudo pregnancy therapy
1： Pseudo menopause therapy
This is a treatment method in which a state of menopause is created temporarily by decreasing the secretion of female hormones from the ovary. A hormone agent called Gn-RH Agonist is usually used; and a nasal drop type or an injection type is available. However, due to side-effects such as symptoms similar to that of menopausal syndrome or drop in bone mass, one run of the treatment should last only for 4-6 months; and stopped for the next 6 months.
There is also an oral drug called Danazol, which has an androgenic property. As with the GnRH Agonist, it suppresses secretion of the female hormone estrogen to stop menstruation; but it has a strong side-effects to which attention needs to be paid such as obesity, pimples, becoming hairy, thrombosis, and liver failure. Therefore, continued use of this treatment is 4-6 months.
2：Pseudo pregnancy therapy
This is a treatment method in which a state of pregnancy is created by using birth control pills to suppress ovulation. Thus, endometrium shrinks and the symptoms become milder.
●If it is the cause for infertility or it is in a severe state, the lesion may be removed in surgery.
If the medical condition would not show signs of improvement even by hormone treatment, you may select to undergo surgery. However, the surgical method may vary according to your life stage or symptoms. If you are not married, and/or wish to become pregnant and give birth, a conservative operation in which the uterus and the ovary are preserved would be chosen. In the cases where the degree of adhesion is small, or the lesion is small, the conservative operation would be good. Besides these there are other options, in which the uterus is removed but one ovary is preserved; or if the symptoms are severe, both the uterus and the ovaries are all removed.
●What is laparoscopic surgery which is less of a burden on the body?
In laparoscopic surgery, a laparoscope is put into a small hole near the belly button is opened in the patient under general anesthesia. Medical examination is conducted by confirming with a monitor. In many cases, treatment is done concurrently with the examination by tearing off the adhered parts, or removing the lesion. Small tissues may be removed, as the operation is done by enlarging the parts with a scope. The characteristics of this surgery are fast recovery and small wounds after the surgery.
●Deepen your understanding of the medical condition, as you will have to manage it for a long while.
Even if it is removed in surgery, endometriosis has a possibility of recurrence until menopause. If neglected, it may cause infertility, thus it would be best to start treatment as soon as you find out, and delay its progress little by little.
Treatment would take a long while, thus it would be very important to deepen your understanding of the medical condition. Also, instead of being worried and anxious on your own, it would be a good idea to join in an endometriosis patients’ association, exchange information, and talk about your worries with other patients.