Understanding Endometriosis

Most people, if asked what endometriosis is, will have no idea. This is surprising, considering that over one million women are estimated to be affected by it each year. This disease happens when cells that would normally grow inside the uterus begin to grow outside of it. These growths can end up on the ovaries, the Fallopian tubes, the outer surface of the uterus or intestines and on the lining of the pelvic cavity.

Who Is Most Likely To Get It?

The tricky part of endometriosis is that most women who have it don't even know that they do. It doesn't always present with obvious symptoms. It commonly hits women during their reproductive years and causes pelvic pain that can be mistaken for other issues. It is actually one of the main reasons for laparoscopic surgery and hysterectomy. It is generally found in women between 25 and 35, although there have been rare cases in women as young as 11. While researchers don't know why, it is predominantly found in white women who are both tall and thin, and who have low BMI indexes. Some people also believe that pushing off pregnancy until later in life can increase your risk.


In order to begin a diagnosis, you have to first decide that there is something wrong. This issue will usually be pelvic pain. Once you've gone to the doctor with pelvic pain, the doctor will ask you to explain your pain and he may be able to feel nodules behind the uterus or along the ligaments attached to the pelvic wall. If the doctor suspects that endometriosis is likely, he will need to accurately diagnosis it with direct visual inspections inside the pelvis and abdomen. This requires surgery and can either be done with a large-incision laparotomy or with a small-incision laparscopy. Ultrasound can also be done to rule out other pelvic diseases and to get a better idea about whether or not it is endometriosis.

What is Laparoscopy?

Many people will get fearful if they hear that they have to undergo something with a name like "laparoscopy". As the most common surgical procedure to diagnose endometriosis, it is important to understand how this procedure works and to educate yourself about it. Laparoscopy is a minor surgery that is usually done with general anesthesia. It's often done as part of an out-patient procedure so that the patient can go home the same day that the procedure is done. Most of the time, biopsies will be taken at the same time as the laparoscopy to inspect the tissue further and to make an accurate diagnosis.

Get the facts about endometriosis and know what the warning signs are of this common disease. The more educated you are, the more you will be able to help yourself and to face any issues that you may have without fear.


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