More on this topic: « Abnormal Vaginal Bleeding
Gynecologic Health
Academia of Women’s Health & Endoscopic Surgery
What is Endometriosis?

What is Endometriosis?

Endometriosis is a condition in which the glands of the uterus (endometrial glands) and their supportive structures (stroma) are positioned outside of the uterus. This abnormally-located and inflamed endometrial tissue can cause debilitating chronic pelvic pain, infertility, bowel or urinary problems, and adhesions that bind organs together.

We heard that endometriosis grows in various tissues, yet it is not cancer?

Endometriosis can occur in any tissue that accepts endometrium. It can grow into surgical scars, the diaphragm, the lung – in one extreme case, we diagnosed endometriosis of an eye. It's no surprise that this condition was called a "mystery of the century," despite the fact this mystery involves far more than one century of extensive scientific work. It is not cancer, although rarely cancer can develop from it, especially in cases of long-term ovarian endometriotic cysts.

How does it develop?

The main question becomes, what allows the glands, arriving to the pelvis through fallopian tubes along with menstrual flow to adhere and grow and cause symptoms in all these different tissues. While there are many theories, the definitive answer to this question has not been found yet.

What are the treatment options for Endometriosis?

Endometriosis affects women and their families significantly. The emotional and physical aspects of it are at times devastating. When good communication with a patient and/or a couple is established, concerns are faced and addressed, and the healing can begin in earnest. The approach to treatment of endometriosis is complex and often involves holistic options in addition to traditional medical approaches.

Hormonal regimens may be instituted in order to suppress the growth of endometriotic lesions and reduce the formation of new ones, as well as to diminish the mechanism that triggers pain. Such treatment will not eradicate current growths or adhesions, yet, it may delay a need in surgical intervention when successful.

Another option is minimally invasive laparoscopic/endoscopic surgery that focuses on removal of endometriotic growth cysts and adhesions under laparoscopic magnification. This option applies to symptomatic women who consider pregnancy in the near future. It is also highly beneficial in women who experience pain that is unabated by hormonal medications or non-medical approaches.

Wishing you happy and joyful

Holiday Season!

Assia Stepanian

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More on this topic: « Abnormal Vaginal Bleeding