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1. What is endometriosis?
It is a painful condition of the female reproductive system in which the tissues lining the inner side of the womb start growing outside the womb. Endometriosis usually affects parts such as ovaries, fallopian tubes and uterus. In rare cases, it may affect areas outside the pelvic region like the peritoneum and the pelvic wall.
2. What are the symptoms that you may experience?
Following are the commonly observed symptoms of endometriosis:
- Severe pain during menses
- Bleeding between periods or heavy bleeding during periods
- Pain during intercourse
- Pain during urination
- Pain during bowel movements
Some other symptoms include diarrhoea or constipation, fatigue and bloating.
3. What are the causes of endometriosis?
The exact cause is unclear; however, some of the theories include:
- Accumulation of menstrual blood containing endometrial cells in the pelvis
- Attachment of the endometrial cells to the surgical incision post-surgery
- Immune system disorders
- Transformation of the cells lining the abdomen to endometrial cells
- Transformation of the embryonic cells to the endometrial cells during puberty
4. Is endometriosis a common condition?
It is a common condition among women in their 30s and 40s, which makes it difficult for them to conceive.
5. How is endometriosis diagnosed?
The first step in the diagnosis of endometriosis involves a detailed history taking and physical examination. The doctor may recommend imaging tests like ultrasound or MRI scan. Laparoscopy may also be performed in which a camera-fitted tube is inserted through the tiny incision made near the navel. This instrument helps view the inside of the abdomen.