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Endometriosis Basics

From the GYN Diagnosis Articles List

Woman speaking with her doctor about what endometriosis is and how she can treat it? What is endometriosis and how can I treat it?

Endometriosis occurs when endometrial like cells implant throughout the body, typically in the pelvic region. Those cells then react to hormones just like the endometrial lining does. However, as the implants shed there is no way for the blood to leave the body. This bleeding irritates the surrounding tissue which can trigger an inflammatory response. As the implants “shed” and inflammation occurs, adhesions may form. Those adhesions can then bind surrounding organs and tissues together. Pain can occur from the inflammation and the adhesions pulling on various organs and tissues.

The key for successfully treating endometriosis is the skillful recognition and excision of the endometriosis implants and lesions. Unfortunately, most doctors do not have the skills necessary to successfully treat endometriosis surgical. Thus, it is very important for women with endometriosis to find a doctor with extensive skills and knowledge in this area.

Though surgical excision of the endometriosis can offer the most optimal results, there are other treatment options women can try. Anti-inflammatory medications can address the inflammation and thus help with pain issues. Because endometriosis is fueled by estrogen, medications that induce surgical menopause are affective for some women. These can include GnRH analogs such as Lupron or Synarel. Progesterone or progestins may be effective for treating endometriosis. These can be administered in a birth control pill, as an injection such as Depo Provera, or even in an IUD such as the Mirena Coil. Some women are having success with aromatase inhibitors as they can block the production of estrogen by the ovaries, fat cells, and the endometriosis itself. A hysterectomy and/or oophorectomy should be the last resort for treating endometriosis and neither are considered a cure.

Women with endometriosis should keep a detailed symptom diary and surround themselves with a knowledgeable medical team. Many women with endometriosis also have other co-existing health conditions so the whole body should be treated together. Eating well, having good sleep habits, exercising, managing stress, and being as healthy as possible are all important for successfully managing endometriosis.

This content was written by staff of HysterSisters.com by non-medical professionals based on discussions, resources and input from other patients for the purpose of patient-to-patient support.

03-14-2012 - 10:29 PM


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