My life totally changes, when I have got diagnosed that I’m living with this endometriosis. For most, I don’t have any idea about endometriosis then it turns me into an endo warrior and living with my other perspective and change my mindset and habit to get my new life.
“The literal meaning of life is whatever you’re doing that prevents you from killing yourself.” ― Albert Camus
Endometriosis, sometimes called “endo,” is a common health problem in women. It gets its name from the word endometrium, the tissue that normally lines the uterus or womb. Endometriosis happens when tissue similar to the lining of the uterus grows outside of your uterus and on other areas in your body where it doesn’t belong.
Causes of Endometriosis
The causes of endometriosis are still unknown. One theory suggests that during menstruation, some of the tissue backs up through the fallopian tubes into the abdomen, a sort of “reverse menstruation,” where it attaches and grows. Another theory suggests that endometrial tissue may travel and implant via blood or lymphatic channels, similar to the way cancer cells spread. A third theory suggests that cells in any location may transform into endometrial cells.
Endometriosis can also occur as a result of direct transplantation — in the abdominal wall after a cesarean section, for example. Additionally, it appears that certain families may have predisposing genetic factors to the disease.
No one knows for sure what causes this disease. Researchers are studying possible causes:
- Problems with the menstrual period flow. Retrograde menstrual flow is the most likely cause of endometriosis. Some of the tissue shed during the period flows through the fallopian tube into other areas of the body, such as the pelvis.
- Genetic factors. Because endometriosis runs in families, it may be inherited in the genes.
- Immune system problems. A faulty immune system may fail to find and destroy endometrial tissue growing outside of the uterus. Immune system disorders and certain cancers are more common in women with endometriosis.
- Hormones. The hormone estrogen appears to promote endometriosis. Research is looking at whether endometriosis is a problem with the body’s hormone system.
- Surgery. During surgery to the abdominal area, such as a Cesarean (C-section) or hysterectomy, endometrial tissue could be picked up and moved by mistake. For instance, endometrial tissue has been found in abdominal scars.
Where Endometriosis Can Occur
The most common sites of endometriosis include:
- The ovaries
- The fallopian tubes
- Ligaments that support the uterus (uterosacral ligaments)
- The posterior cul-de-sac, i.e., the space between the uterus and rectum
- The anterior cul-de-sac, i.e., the space between the uterus and bladder
- The outer surface of the uterus
- The lining of the pelvic cavity
Occasionally, endometrial tissue is found in other places, such as:
- The intestines
- The rectum
- The bladder
- The vagina
- The cervix
- The vulva
- Abdominal surgery scars
There is no cure for endometriosis, but treatments are available for the symptoms and problems it causes. Talk to your doctor about your treatment options.
If you are not trying to get pregnant, hormonal birth control is generally the first step in treatment. This may include:
- Extended-cycle (you have only a few periods a year) or continuous cycle (you have no periods) birth control. These types of hormonal birth control are available in the pill or the shot and help stop bleeding and reduce or eliminate pain.
- Intrauterine device (IUD) to help reduce pain and bleeding. The hormonal IUD protects against pregnancy for up to 7 years. But the hormonal IUD may not help your pain and bleeding due to endometriosis for that long.
Hormonal treatment works only as long as it is taken and is best for women who do not have severe pain or symptoms.
If you are trying to get pregnant, your doctor may prescribe a gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonist. This medicine stops the body from making the hormones responsible for ovulation, the menstrual cycle, and the growth of endometriosis. This treatment causes a temporary menopause, but it also helps control the growth of endometriosis. Once you stop taking the medicine, your menstrual cycle returns, but you may have a better chance of getting pregnant.
Surgery is usually chosen for severe symptoms, when hormones are not providing relief or if you are having fertility problems. During the operation, the surgeon can locate any areas of endometriosis and may remove the endometriosis patches. After surgery, hormone treatment is often restarted unless you are trying to get pregnant.
Other treatments you can try, alone or with any of the treatments listed above, include:
- Pain medicine. For mild symptoms, your doctor may suggest taking over-the-counter medicines for pain. These include ibuprofen (Advil and Motrin) or naproxen (Aleve).
- Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) therapies. Some women report relief from pain with therapies such as acupuncture, chiropractic care, herbs like cinnamon twig or licorice root, or supplements, such as thiamine (vitamin B1), magnesium, or omega-3 fatty acids.
“I think it’s really important that someone is there encouraging you, rooting you on, saying you’re not alone, helping you feel stronger and more powerful.” — Tia Mowry
No cure doesn’t make you weak and surrender, I always believe that I can make it in every single of my life.
I am an endo warrior and I’m stronger than my Endo!
Endometriosis is a common gynecological condition affecting an estimated 2 to 10 percent of American women of…