Endometriosis - the enigmatic disease of the modern age!
Endometriosis is one of the most far-reaching, devastating and misunderstood diseases in the world today. It is estimated that there are over 70 million women and girls who have Endometriosis world-wide. It is more common than breast cancer or Aids, and many other diseases, that are well known. Despite the huge numbers of women who suffer from this disease, few people have actually heard of it, but this is gradually changing, though very slowly.This disease is becoming more and more common. It seems to be gaining ground. This could be for a variety of reasons.
- The methods of detecting and diagnosing the disease are improving all the time, so statistics reflect this as growing numbers of cases are detected.
- The seriousness of the disease is gradually gaining momentum and more people are finally beginning to hear about it. This may be through television programs, magazine articles, the internet, or talking to friends. So there is an ever increasing public awareness. This public awareness helps to alert women who have concerns about their health, especially regarding pelvic and menstrual pain, so more women are able to determine whether they have Endometriosis.
- More women are taking their pelvic pain and period pain seriously, rather than thinking of it as normal, so they are pursuing answers from the medical profession.
- Finally, the numbers of women who have the disease appears to be increasing in actuality, especially in the last 30 years or so. It is also more common in industrial countries, where pollution is higher.
In women with Endometriosis, the natural bodily processes of the reproductive system goes seriously wrong. The disease is linked and affected by the menstrual cycle and the hormones that make menstruation happen.
Physically, what happens is that tiny, and sometimes microscopic particles that are similar to the lining of the womb, find their way into the pelvic cavity. These particles behave in the same manner as the lining of the womb. The lining of the womb is called the endometrium, which is where this disease gets its name.
The natural process of the endometrium is to react with hormones produced in the body and each month the endometrium builds up with blood cells and other chemicals to prepare for pregnancy. When pregnancy does not occur then the endometrium sheds this blood and women have a period.
A similar reaction takes place in the stray cells that have found their way into the pelvic cavity. Each month they react to hormones, and break down and bleed, but the blood and tissue shed from these endometrial growths has no way of leaving the body. This results in internal bleeding, breakdown of the blood and tissue from these sites and leads to inflammation.
This process continues for months, or even years before symptoms of serious pain begins to develop. Many women start to suspect something is wrong because the amount of pain they feel with their periods starts to get worse and worse as the months go by. It is then that women start to investigate and question the state of their health.
For other women the disease may not throw up any noticeable symptoms, but they may be having problems with their fertility and are not successful in conceiving. It is then that they seek medical advice which could lead to having a laparoscopy . It is during this procedure that the disease may be found.
As time goes by, this disease will progress and start to do more damage in the pelvic cavity. Eventually it can lead to scar tissue formation, adhesions, bowel problems, as well as a gradual decline in general health.
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