Reducing The Risks Of Endometriosis

2011-07-01 |

For women in their reproductive years, that “time of the month” is often associated with discomfort, cramps and pain. For some women, the symptoms are relatively mild while for others, several days each month are spent enduring considerable suffering. One of the causes of serious menstrual pain is a condition called Endometriosis.

While Endometriosis is relatively common, affecting as many as 1 in 7 women, it is a condition that is often under diagnosed. On average, women with the condition are diagnosed 6 to 12 years after the onset of the first symptoms because these symptoms can vary significantly. Among women with the condition, 30 to 40% suffer fertility problems. Many others suffer a reduction in quality of life from the pain. Because of this, it is important that women understand the risk factors for developing the condition.

What Is Endometriosis?

Endometriosis is a medical condition in which specific cells that are normally located in the uterus develop outside of the uterus. The cells in question are those that normally accumulate and shed during the menstrual cycle. For women with Endometriosis, these cells can develop on the ovaries, bladder, kidneys, and intestines just to name a few locations. The growths are a form of tumor, but one that is considered benign.

Because these growths are made of the same type of cell tissues that build up and later break down during the menstrual cycle, the cells can cause problems when not located in the uterus. The growth and breakdown of the cells outside of the uterus can cause scar tissue formation and the development of cysts. This can subsequently lead to the infertility and pain faced by many women with Endometriosis.

Although the pain of Endometriosis is often associated with the monthly reproductive changes in the female body, it does have other effects. Endometriosis can also lead to painful sex. As well, the misplaced cell growths can affect women after menopause to cause pain well after a woman’s reproductive years have ended. Lastly, women with Endometriosis can suffer from chronic abdominal pain with as many as 1 in 7 cases of such pain being the result of Endometriosis.

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Category: Disease Prevention

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