Adenomyosis, also known as Endometriosis is the name given to the condition where cells like the ones in the lining of the womb (uterus) are found elsewhere in the body. Endometriosis mainly affects girls and women of childbearing age. It’s less common in women who have been through the menopause. It mostly affects the ovaries, oviducts, posterior abdominal wall, and the tissues that line the pelvis. These tissues would act like the endometrial tissues, especially during the menstrual cycle. They would become thicker, break down, shed and bleed, just like the endometrial tissues in the uterus. The tissues that are shed would have no way to leave the body, so they become trapped, and could cause some irritation to the surrounding organs. In some cases, they might even form scar tissues and adhesion, which might lead to complications such as obstruction and so on. Endometriosis is usually accompanied by a lot of pain when the affected woman is menstruating. They might also experience dyspareunia; pain during sex. There have been reports of urinary and gastrointestinal complications. This disease could be unbearable, as it causes a lot of discomforts. It can lead also lead to infertility. Stem cell therapy is one of the ways of treating this disease. Doctors buy stem cells online for the procedures
What Are the Causes of Endometriosis?
There is no specific cause of Endometriosis but there are some theories regarding how Endometrial tissue gets to other parts of the body. They include:
- One theory is that the endometrial tissue is deposited in other locations by the retrograde flow of menstrual contents through the Fallopian tubes into the pelvic and abdominal The cause of this retrograde menstruation is not clearly understood. It is clear, however, that retrograde menstruation is not the only cause of endometriosis, as many women who have retrograde menstruation do not develop the condition.
- Another possibility is that areas lining the pelvic organs possess primitive cells that are able to develop into other forms of tissue, such as endometrium. (This process is known as coelomic metaplasia.)
- There is also the possibility of direct transfer of endometrial tissues at the time of surgery. This may be responsible for the endometriosis implants occasionally found in surgical scars (for example, Cesarean section or Episiotomy scars ). Transfer of endometrial cells through the bloodstream or lymphatic system is the most viable explanation for the rare cases of endometriosis that are found in the brain, lungs and other organs remote from the pelvis.
What are the possible Risk Factors involved in Endometriosis?
There are certain risk factors that increase the risk and contributes to the development of endometriosis. They include:
- Genetics: People who have relatives that have suffered from the disease, are prone to having this disease. The chances of having this disease are higher in women who have a direct sibling that has the disease. According to statistics, they are six times more likely to have endometriosis. This disease has been attributed to a change in some genomes.
- Environmental factors: There are some factors that also influence the development of endometriosis, apart from genetics. Some of the factors that influence the development of the disease are
- When the female has not given birth yet
- Exposure to estrogen for a long time. This occurs when a woman has a late menopause or an early menarche.
- Blockage of the menstrual flow: This could be as a result of adhesions.
- Low body weight: The chances of having endometriosis is higher when a woman has a low body mass index. The body mass index is divided into 3 main parts. These are low body mass index, normal body mass index, overweight and obese. People that belong to the low body mass index must have a body mass index that is less than 18.
What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Endometriosis?
Most women with endometriosis have no symptom but for those that do, the most common symptom of endometriosis is a pain, which occurs mostly during menstrual periods. Although some women do have pains during their menstrual period, the pain associated with endometriosis is a lot worse than that. Women that are affected by this disease might have to be hospitalized in some cases. Below are some of the signs and symptoms associated with this disease;
- Pain in the pelvis: Pain is the most common symptom of this disease, and it occurs in about 70% of women during menstruation. This can be attributed to the endometrium-like tissues that exist outside the uterus, and are undergoing the same physiological changes as the endometrial tissues in the uterus. The amount of pain a woman feels is proportional to the stage of the disease. It’s from stage 1 to 4. While some women may feel little pain, some would have to be placed on analgesic throughout the cause of the period. Below are some of the pain that might occur in the pelvis
- Pain during menstruation: This basically means the pain the affected women experience when they are menstruating. They might also some pain in the lower part of their back
- Pain during sex: This can also be referred to as dyspareunia. Some percentage of women that have this condition do experience pain when they are having sex.
- Pain associated with the urinary system: Some patients do present with pains when they’re urinating. In addition, some tend to urinate more.
The endometrium-like tissues found outside the uterus undergoes the same process as the tissues in the endometrium. They become thick, break down, shed and bleed, without any outlet for the blood and shed materials to leave the body. This leads to the accumulation of blood in this parts and could lead to irritation and adhesion. This is also a huge source of pain in affected patients. However, the extent of this pain is proportional to the extent of the disease.
- Menorrhagia: Some women do experience a heavy loss of blood when they’re menstruating. This might not happen every time they menstruate, but it could be quite frequent. In addition to this, some women do experience bleeding in between their menstrual periods.
- Infertility: According to statistics, about one-third of women affected by endometriosis do have problems with fertility. There have been many theories about how infertility develops in people affected by this disease. There is a hypothesis that infertility in the early stages, is due to inflammatory reactions, while adhesions, irritation and other endometriosis complications could be responsible for the later stage of the disease.
- Other common symptoms of endometriosis: There are other symptoms of this disease that affects other systems of the body. Some of these symptoms are tiredness, constipation and/or diarrhea. In addition, some cancer diseases have been linked to Some of them are ovarian and endometrial cancer.
- Rare symptoms of endometriosis include pain in the chest or coughing blood due to endometriosis in the lungs and headache and/or seizures due to endometriosis in the brain.
How is Endometriosis Treated?
The most common treatment for endometriosis is usually surgery or medications. The choice depends on the patient and her doctor.
- Painkillers: Physicians usually prescribe NSAIDs and other pain relievers like Ibuprofen or Paracetamol.
- Hormone medicines and Contraceptives: The combined pill, the contraceptive patch and Intra-uterine system (IUS) as well as gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists, progestin and danazol could all be used in treating endometriosis.
- Surgery to cut away patches of endometriosis tissue or even to remove the womb (hysterectomy) might be required.
The use of Stem Cell Therapy in treating Endometriosis
Endometriosis was recently identified as a stem cell disease. New drug therapies are urgently required for the treatment of endometriosis due to frequent disease recurrence with current surgical or medical treatments. It has been observed that the endometrial cells that grow outside of the endometrium, develop from ectopic endometrial stem cells. Research is ongoing to fully understand how this occurs, and the possible ways to fully explore the potentials of stem cell therapy of endometriosis.
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