Endometriosis Is A Chronic Uncurable But Treatable Condition That Afflicts The Health Of Far Too Many Women
Posted Feb 03 2009 10:54pm
Endometriosis is a disease that affects far too many women. It can be an extremely painful disease. The tissue that lines the uterus attaches itself to areas outside of the uterus creating lesions. When a woman is diagnosed with endometriosis, the doctor will evaluate her age, symptoms and desire for pregnancy before determining a proper course of therapy for her situation.
If it is suspected that a patient has endometriosis, they are asked to record their symptoms, especially the abdominal pain at specific moments of the menstrual cycle. During therapy, they are asked to describe their symptoms, locations of pain and if the abdominal pain becomes worse during their menstruation cycle. A repeatedly scheduled routine pelvic examinations are needed to diagnose the condition, evaluate the stage and check for abnormalities such as cysts. Physical examination has its limitations. A abdominal exam alone will not pinpoint exactly what stage a patient is in, the degree of severity or the cause of pelvic pain. Other tests may be necessary to confirm endometriosis and the specific stage.
A number of therapy options exist for a patient with endo, but the patient has to weigh the risks versus the benefits. Drugs such as GnRH Agonists and Danazol used to treat endo often put a woman into chemical menopause. Some treatment methods involve an attempt to shrink endometriosis lesions by ceasing the ovulation process. The side effects may be very bad with many of these drugs and recurrence of the symptoms soon after completion of treatment is a real problem.
A doctor may recommend treating endometriosis with surgical therapy that includes the surgical removal of growths. Medical therapy makes growths smaller and provides short term relief. In some cases, a doctor may suggest a combination of surgical and medical treatment that is known as combination treatment. A conservative surgery is another therapy option to remove or destroy endo and restore distorted anatomy. To surgically remove or destroy endo growths, a doctor will usually perform a procedure called a laparoscopy. During laparoscopy, a slender, light-transmitting tube is inserted into a woman’s abdomen through her navel. The laparoscope allows doctors to see the size and extent of endometrial growths and remove as many of them as possible.
Sometimes, it’s necessary for a woman to opt for radical surgery, including removal of the uterus and ovaries, as well as removal of all endometriosis growths. This is perhaps the hardest decision that women with endometriosis endure. Other therapy choices include simply treating the pain with painkillers. As endo symptoms often continue even after treatment, some women have found non- traditional means of alleviating symptoms including herbal remedies, aromatherapy, dietary modifications, vitamin supplements and relaxation techniques.
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