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Why Understanding Endometriosis is Critical for Women's Health

Endometriosis impacts approximately 10% (190 million) of women and girls of reproductive age worldwide. This chronic condition is linked to intense, life-altering pain during menstruation, sexual activity, bowel movements, and urination, as well as persistent pelvic discomfort, abdominal swelling, nausea, exhaustion, and occasionally mental health challenges such as depression, anxiety, and infertility.

Early detection and effective treatment of Endometriosis are crucial but are often restricted in numerous settings, particularly in low- and middle-income nations.

Shedding light on What Endometriosis is?

Endometriosis is a condition where endometrial tissues are growing in places other then uterus. This can result in significant pelvic pain and difficulties with fertility. Onset can occur at the time of first menstruation and persist until menopause. This tissue outside the uterus leads to inflammation and scar tissue formation in the pelvic area and occasionally in other body parts.

Endometriosis triggers a persistent inflammation that can lead to the development of scar tissue (adhesions, fibrosis) in the pelvic region and other areas of the body. Various forms of lesions have been identified:

  1. Superficial Endometriosis is primarily located in the pelvic peritoneum.
  2. Cystic ovarian Endometriosis (endometrioma) is found within the ovaries.
  3. Deep Endometriosis includes the recto-vaginal septum, bladder, and bowel.

In rare instances, Endometriosis has also been detected beyond the pelvic region.

Characteristics of Endometriosis Symptoms

Endometriosis symptoms show various kinds of diversity, e.g., some individuals may not experience any symptoms. However, some do have:-

  1. Frequent lower abdominal pain, especially during menstruation,
  2. Pain during Sexual activity,
  3. Pain during urination or bowel movements.
  4. Additional potential symptoms encompass:-
  5. chronic pelvic pain,
  6. heavy menstrual bleeding,
  7. fertility problems,
  8. bloating,
  9. fatigue, and
  10. emotional difficulties such as depression and anxiety.

While symptoms often alleviate after menopause. The varied range of endometriosis symptoms can pose challenges in diagnosis.

Evaluating and Treating Fibroids

A thorough examination of menstrual symptoms and chronic pelvic pain is essential in case of Endometriosis.

  1. Endometriosis symptoms often resemble other conditions, like PCOS, Uterine fibroids, etc., leading to delays in diagnosis.
  2. Ultrasonography or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is often necessary to detect ovarian endometrioma, adhesions, and deep nodular forms of the disease.
  3. Histologic verification, typically following surgical laparoscopic visualization, can help confirm the diagnosis, especially for the most common superficial lesions. The need for histologic laparoscopic confirmation should allow the initiation of empirical medical treatment.

The Emotional Toll:

Endometriosis carries substantial societal, public health, and economic consequences. Its impact on quality of life is profound, causing severe pain, fatigue, depression, anxiety, and infertility. For some suffering from Endometriosis, the pain can hinder their daily life, like the ability to attend work or school. Painful intercourse resulting from Endometriosis can disrupt or lead to avoidance of sexual activity and have an impact on the sexual health of those affected and their partners. By addressing the condition of Endometriosis, we together can empower them by supporting their fundamental human right to the highest standard of sexual and reproductive health, quality of life, and overall well-being.

Heightening Awareness Levels

Increasing awareness of Endometriosis means breaking the silence. Various efforts, such as educational programs, personal stories, and health campaigns regarding women's health, contribute to a better understanding of Endometriosis.

Endometriosis is an often overlooked condition by women and our society. By emphasizing its symptoms, diagnosis, and impact on mental health, we can strive for a future where Endometriosis is recognized early and treated.


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