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ABOUT ENDOMETRIOSIS

Endometriosis is a painful gynecological disorder that affects millions of women across the world and significantly hampers with their quality of life. As this condition occurs in women mostly in their prime, it can affect their ability to get pregnant, hence causing not just physical but mental trauma.

TREATMENT

There is no permanent cure for endometriosis but if accurately diagnosed at the right time, the disease can be managed with various treatments. Treatment is usually in the form of pain-relieving medications, hormone therapy or surgery.

  • Drugs - In the initial stages, doctors often recommend anti-inflammatory medications, to help relieve the painful cramps during menstruation.
  • Hormone therapy - If painkillers do not work, doctors will advise hormone therapy in the form of oral contraceptive pills (in a tricyclic manner), which help control the hormones responsible for the buildup of endometrial tissue every month. Gonadotropin-releasing hormone analogue (GnRHa) injections may also be given, which block the production of ovarian-stimulating hormones, lowering estrogen levels and preventing menstruation. This induces a state of pseudo-menopause thereby reducing the speed of proliferation of the endometriotic cells thereby alleviating the symptoms of pain. Whenever the woman wants to have children, the medication can be stopped and her ability to conceive will come back. Similarly oral tablets or intrauterine contraceptive device containing the progesterone hormone could also be used for symptomatic relief.
  • Laparoscopic surgery - Minimally invasive surgery helps a great deal in cases where the disease is in its advanced stages. These days, doctors successfully conduct key-hole surgery to remove as much endometriotic tissue as possible, while preserving the ovaries, uterus and the fallopian tubes. In severe cases, the ovaries might be damaged because of spread of the disease, thus hampering the woman's ability to have children. Assisted reproductive technologies, such as IUI and IVF come to the rescue of such couples and have been effective in fulfilling their dreams of having a child.
  • Hysterectomy - Sometimes, the disease might be quite extensive, and if the woman already has children, hysterectomy may be advised to totally remove the uterus and cervix and the ovaries. This treatment is usually considered as the last resort when all other methods fail. Ovaries may be conserved during hysterectomy should the woman be very young at the time of surgery ( < 40 years of age).