Endometriosis and your fallopian tubes

Echinoderm Ovary

Endometriosis can implant on the outside surface of the fallopian tubes and cause scarring. Just like burn scars can lead to contractures that distort limbs and other body parts, the endometriosis scarring can distort the fallopian tubes so they can't function properly. Endometriosis inside the fallopian tube can partially or totally block that tube. This blockage may cause infertility or ectopic pregnancy. Unfortunately, even good imaging techniques, such as X-rays or ultrasounds, can't see...

Endometriosis in Your Lungs Coughing Chest Pain and Breathing Problems

Endometriosis in your lungs isn't common, and it can be really hard to diagnose because your doctor won't think of it when you come in coughing up blood. You may not even think to tell him you're having your period, and he's unlikely to ask. Diagnosing endometriosis in the lungs, or thoracic endometriosis, requires an inquiring mind. Even if you know you have endometriosis elsewhere, you may think that relating it to your lung problems is too far fetched. Thoracic endometriosis can cause many...

Taking antidepressants

At first glance, you may think this section is in the wrong chapter. How can taking prescription antidepressants help with pain Actually, antidepressants can help decrease chronic pain in several ways. The two most obvious ways are i Decreased depression, which is a common side effect of chronic pain (Check out Chapter 15 for more information about depression and your emotions.) However, there's much more to this story. Many studies have shown that some classes of antidepressants have analgesic...

Blaming Mom Is endometriosis hereditary

Research shows that endometriosis has a family link because it tends to cluster in families. If you have a first-degree relative a mother or sister with endometriosis , your risk of having endometriosis is seven to ten times higher than your friend who has no endometriosis in her family. Not only are you more likely to have endometriosis if it runs in your family, but your disease is also likely to be more severe than endometriosis found in women without a family history of the disease. Aren't...

Speculating on How Endometriosis Develops The Most Common Theories

Retrograde Menstruation

Several prevalent theories exist as to why endometriosis develops in some women and not in others. Some days you may not really care how it got there you just want it to go away But understanding how a disease works is the first step to overcoming the problems it can bring. In this section, we review the most common theories. Migrating out the tubes Retrograde menstruation Every woman with a uterus has endometrial cells cells that line the inside of the uterus and support a pregnancy . Studies...

Endometriosis in Your Brain Rare but Possible

The idea of endometriosis ending up in the place farthest from its initial source may sound impossible, but it's true endometriosis can, in rare cases, end up in your brain. So no matter what some people think, endometriosis is definitely not just in your head. Obviously, more than retrograde menstruation must send endometrial tissue all the way up to your head, so endometrial tissue must arrive there via one of the other theories of endometriosis transmission. See Chapter 4 for the theories on...

Endometriosis may even cause intestinal contractions and hypoglycemia

A study by Baylor University looked at a group of women with endometriosis and found they had increased frequency of contractions within the muscle layer of the intestine, which can be related to the production of prostaglandins and other substances by the endometrial implants. Prostaglandins are produced in the endometriosis and then released into the surrounding tissues, blood vessels, and lymphatic tissue. This occurrence may also account for cramping and intestinal symptoms in women who...

Blocked tubes can cause ectopic pregnancy

Endometriosis Cause Ectopic Pregnancy

So an ectopic pregnancy is outside the uterus and usually, but not always, inside the fallopian tube. Very rarely, ectopic pregnancies can implant in the abdomen or in the ovary itself, although approximately 95 percent implant in the fallopian tubes. The damage that endometriosis does to the fimbriae and the tubes in general greatly increases the risk of ectopic pregnancy. Damage to the fimbriae or tubes can cause the following potentially dangerous scenarios i...

Endometriosis and your pelvic cavity

Male Reproductive System

Endometriosis that implants on the peritoneum in the pelvic cavity see Figure 3-5 can cause severe inflammation that leads to adhesions or scar tissue. These adhesions can then cause all these organs and tissues the uterus, ovaries, tubes, intestines, and bladder to stick to each other so they don't move in the usual manner. This restriction of movement and the inflammation due to endometriosis cause the pain or discomfort. In addition, these same adhesions can make the intestines, bladder, and...

Debating danazol Danocrine

Danazol (brand-name Danocrine) is an oral drug that was extensively used in the past to treat endometriosis. Although it was proven to be effective, its numerous side effects (see Facing the side effects of danazol later in this chapter) have resulted in its replacement by more modern medical treatments. However, for some women with endometriosis, it remains an optional medical treatment. Danazol acts like two kinds of sex hormones, estrogen and testosterone. Its structure is very similar to...

Finding the right job for you

Find a job that has a flexible schedule. However, landing a flexible job is easier said than done. And how many jobs are really flexible Even traditionally flexible jobs, such as per diem nursing or substitute teaching, aren't totally flexible because you work when they need you, not when you want to. A job where you can work when you're well and stay home when you're not is difficult to find. But some jobs may work better for you than others. Obviously, the more flexible a job, the better it...

Considering Immunotherapy

Many doctors already use immune therapy in cancer patients as well as patients with autoimmune disease, a category it seems endometriosis may fall into. (See Chapter 4 for more on the immune system and endometriosis.) The link between the immune system and endometriosis Can immune therapy help decrease endometriosis The following three areas of research may support the idea of immune treatment for endometriosis I Implants of endometriosis cause increased peritoneal fluid, which contains...

Naming the main symptoms

Endometriosis is more likely to appear in the bladder than in the ureters (the tubes that take urine from the kidney to the bladder) or the kidneys, and the lower ureters are a more common site than the upper ureters. Symptoms for endometriosis in the urinary tract can include any of the following Pain with urination isn't unique to endometriosis many problems, including bladder infection and interstitial cystitis (chronic bladder inflammation) can cause bladder pain. Furthermore, all bladder...

Naming the two main treatment options

Immune therapy is successful with other types of autoimmune disease, and because of the link of endometriosis to autoimmune diseases, researchers suggest that immune therapy may work against endometriosis. Because the FDA hasn't approved any of these more aggressive treatments for endometrio-sis, we include them in this chapter. The two main treatments include 1 Intravenous immunoglobulin (TVIG) IVIG is a sterile protein preparation derived from human blood, given intravenously. IVIG is being...

Asthma allergies and autoimmune issues in endometriosis

There's growing evidence that endometriosis is an autoimmune disease. There's also growing evidence that people who have one autoimmune disease are more likely to have additional autoimmune problems. One large study of more than 3,000 women with endometriosis showed the following I Sixty-one percent had allergies compared to 18 percent of the U.S. general population. 1 Twelve percent had asthma compared to 5 percent of the general population. 1 Chronic fatigue syndrome was more than a hundred...

Endometriosis Is a Career Womans Disease

The concept of endometriosis being a career woman's disease is an old wives' tale based on the premise that only driven, Type-A personalities got endometriosis. This myth is a twisted version of it's all in your head, but it adds the dig, You brought this problem on yourself by being a driven career woman. The attitude probably gained credence when career women started trying to get pregnant at a later age than traditional homemakers. If the older woman had trouble getting pregnant,...

Diagnosing endometriosis visually

An experienced surgeon may also recognize endometriosis visually, and he may not biopsy at all if he sees obvious disease. Visual diagnosis also avoids the rare but serious complications of biopsy. Given the advantages of visual diagnosis, having an experienced surgeon who knows what he's looking at and is comfortable with the procedure is of utmost importance. Many offices now tout their MRIs as being open and less likely to cause claustrophobia, but their definition of open and yours may...

Popping the Pill Oral contraceptives

You're probably familiar with oral contraceptives (OCs), more commonly called birth control pills (BCPs) or just the Pill. But you may not know how versatile they are. Preventing pregnancy is just one of their uses (although that use has certainly changed society ). Breaking down the Pill Biochemistry 101 The estrogen compound in most oral contraceptives in the United States is a form of estradiol, the hormone your ovaries make. However, the progestin element offers some variety (five related...