What is endometriosis, its symptoms and treatment?

(CNN Spanish) — Endometriosis is a disease in which tissue similar to the lining of the uterus begins to grow in other parts of the body. It affects approximately 190 million women and girls worldwide.

Anyone with a uterus of reproductive age can suffer from this disease, but it is most common in women aged 30 to 40. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), one in 10 people born with a uterus have endometriosis.

Description and characteristics

According to WHO, endometriosis can cause severe pelvic pain and make pregnancy difficult. “Endometriosis can begin as early as a person’s first menstrual period and last until menopause.”

According to the Mayo Clinic, these are the most common symptoms of endometriosis:

  • “Menstruation which is very painful”
  • “Pain during sex”
  • “Pain while defecating or urinating”
  • “Excessive bleeding”
  • “infertility”

Other symptoms that endometriosis can cause are “fatigue, diarrhea, constipation, bloating or nausea.” Some people do not have any symptoms. Symptoms usually improve with menopause.

important information

According to the WHO, endometriosis can cause a variety of lesions, ranging from “superficial endometriosis found primarily in the pelvic peritoneum” to “cystic ovarian endometriosis (endometrioma) found in the ovaries” and “endometriosis deep, which Can be found in”. Rectovaginal septum, bladder and bowel.

“In rare cases, endometriosis has also been found outside the pelvis,” the WHO says.

Importance of diagnosis and treatment

Although it is a chronic disease with no known cure at present, so there is no way to prevent it, there are treatments that aim to control the symptoms.

For this reason, WHO highlights that access to early diagnosis is essential.

WHO says, “The choice of treatment depends on effectiveness, adverse side effects, long-term safety, cost and availability in the individual.”

Endometriosis affects everything from physical health to mental health. Pain and the fact that it can affect fertility are some of its strongest effects.

Early diagnosis can help reduce these effects and promote access to treatment.

A variety of medications are available, such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory and pain relievers. Some hormonal medications also help control pain. However, WHO warns that some of these methods “may not be suitable for people who want to become pregnant.”

In those cases, regular surgery or laparoscopic surgery (small camera inside the body) is used to remove the patient’s lesions.

In any case, patients should discuss treatment options with their healthcare provider.

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