Definition Of Endometriosis

Written by Amy Hall
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What is the definition of endometriosis? Well, endometriosis is a term that is derived from the word, endometrium, which refers to the tissue that lines the inside of the uterus. Endometriosis is a condition that involves the endometrial tissue implanting itself outside of the uterus, in other areas of the pelvic cavity. Each month during menstruation, these endometrial cells shed, however they do not exit the body via the vagina. Instead, they are shed through internal bleeding that results in scar tissue, cysts, and adhesions that cause women a great deal of pain in many cases.

It is important to realize that endometrial growths are usually not cancerous; they are merely growths of normal tissue in abnormal locations. Since the endometrial tissue responds to the hormones that cause menstruation each month, they too build up and then shed, however they do so internally. With each passing month, these blood-filled cysts expand and continue to put pain and pressure on internal organs.

If these cysts continue to expand, eventually they will burst and spread to new areas. This can be dangerous for a number of reasons, especially when the areas affected include the bladder, bowel, and intestines. When these cysts begin to grow on or in the bladder and bowel, blockages can occur that are not only painful but also medically serious. In cases where other organs are involved, surgery is almost always the recommended course of treatment to remove the growths and restore the organs to normal functioning.

Endometriosis--Getting on with Your Life

Although there is no way to prevent endometriosis from affecting you, especially if you have a family history of this disease, you can take steps to minimize the damage. Birth control pills do provide some protection from this condition, as does having children before the age of 35. Over the counter pain medications can help, as can applying a heating pad to the abdomen. Exercise is highly recommended, and yoga and meditation can also help ease the symptoms. Always talk with your doctor about treatment options, as new advancements and research continue to uncover new approaches to treating this disease.


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