Understanding how endometriosis affects your period

Endometriosis can interfere with your menstrual cycle in a number of ways. Starting right from Day 1 of your cycle, endometriosis on or around your ovary can interfere with your egg production. If you're not planning on getting pregnant, you may say, So what But the whole purpose of the menstrual cycle is the maturation, release, and implantation of an egg. Disrupting the process in any way impacts your periods. Although the exact reasons aren't clear, endometriosis in and around the ovaries...

Considering Alternative Therapies and Remedies to Relieve the Pain

Avoiding the pitfalls of alternative medicine Considering acupuncture Trying a chiropractor Melting under massage Mastering meditation techniques Decreasing pain with exercise or yoga Going herbal Using aromatherapy ever before have so many people looked for alternatives to traditional W Western medicine herbs, acupuncture, Eastern medicine, and other alternatives are all getting a close look. But you may be asking Why the popularity of alternative treatments After all, traditional medicine...

Finding out more about yoga and Tai

Yoga and T'ai Chi are gentle enough for almost everyone, and they're adaptable to your physical level. Nearly every college, gym, hospital, YMCA, and neighborhood recreation center offers some type of yoga or T'ai Chi instruction. Most classes are relatively inexpensive and may be covered under your health plan if your doctor prescribes them. If you want to find a program, check out www.yogafinder.com or www. taichinetwork.org. You can take group classes or have individual instruction...

Considering opioids

Opioids are a powerful prescription-only class of pain relievers related to the granddaddy of all pain relievers, morphine. Also called narcotics, opioids include the natural opium alkaloids, the semisynthetic opioids derived from them, and the fully synthetic opioids. They all bind to opioid receptors found principally in the brain and gastrointestinal tract. The following includes some common prescription opioids, with their brand name in parentheses 1 Codeine (Tylenol 3) 1 Hydrocodone...

Finding a competent practitioner

Be sure the practitioner you choose is licensed if the treatment has a licensing procedure. Many alternative treatments, such as acupuncture and chiropractic, have strict criteria for licensure. Finding a practitioner that uses techniques outside mainstream medicine can be more challenging than finding a traditional medical doctor. One of the drawbacks to alternative therapies is that licensing of practitioners isn't as stringent as the licensing of medical doctors, so you may not know whether...

Luteal phase defect Running out of progesterone

Whether or not endometriosis can cause luteal phase defect is somewhat controversial, because studies have shown some evidence for and some evidence against the connection. As soon as the egg has matured and released, the luteinizing hormone (LH) causes the cells of the follicle to produce the hormone progesterone. At this point, the follicle is called a corpus luteum, or yellow body, because the molecular changes give these cells a yellow color. You can think of progesterone as the opposite of...

Intrauterine Insemination IUI

Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) may help you get pregnant more easily by putting the sperm a little closer to the egg. The journey for sperm is long and arduous, and sperm aren't particularly bright. Only 50 percent of a good sperm sample knows how to swim forward. Most sperm in any sample are imperfect and have serious problems they may Not ask for directions (typical male trait ) IUI may offer an advantage in infertility because it weeds out the poorer sperm and, ideally, puts only the best...

Exercising for Health and Other Benefits

You probably know you should exercise, but exercise is easy to put off until tomorrow. After all, getting up early to go to the gym or going after work (when all you want to do is collapse on the couch in front of the television) is hard work. Many people are often too tired to exercise, but the irony is that daily exercise can energize and rejuvenate you. Don't believe it Many studies show that exercise has benefits beyond the physical. This section looks at how exercise can help you feel...

Cutting away adhesions

The simplest conservative treatment for endometriosis is the removal of adhesions (scar tissue) around the ovaries, tubes, and uterus. The risks of this treatment are minimal (unless the scar tissue is very dense and around vital structures), but the results can be dramatic. Surgery is via a laparoscopy or a laparotomy, using scissors, electrosurgery, laser, harmonic scalpel, or a blunt instrument to simply break down thin, filmy adhesions. If adhesions are causing your pain, you should feel...

Evaluating enzyme abnormalities

Women with endometriosis appear to have a number of genetic enzyme abnormalities that may allow endometriosis to develop and attach more easily where it doesn't belong (see Chapter 4 for more about genes and endometriosis). One recent study found that some women with endometriosis-related infertility lack an enzyme necessary for an embryo to implant. The enzyme holds a molecule called L-selectin to the uterine wall. Without L-selectin in place at the proper time of the menstrual cycle, an...

Glossary

M s your Latin a little rusty Figuring out the meaning of medical terms is a lousy way to spend an afternoon, so we've made it easier to understand this book by including the definitions for some of the terms we use that you don't see every day (Latin and otherwise). abnormal uterine bleeding (AUB) Also called dysfunctional uterine bleeding (DUB) uterine bleeding that's heavier than normal, or occurs at irregular times, or lasts too long. acupuncture Oriental system of puncturing the skin with...

Looking Closer at How Endometriosis Also Affects Other Body Parts

Investigating endometriosis and your intestines Checking out endometriosis and your bladder Considering endometriosis in your lungs Thinking about endometriosis in your brain focusing on endometriosis and its effect on your period and your fertility may not be that difficult. However, you may not realize that endometriosis can affect other body systems as well. In fact, in very rare cases, endometriosis has been found only outside the pelvis. In this chapter, we look at how endometriosis can...

Partially blocking tubes are bad too

Sometimes endometriosis doesn't block the tube altogether it may create a hydrosalpinx (a chronically dilated, swollen tube). See Figure 7-2. The hydrosalpinx can fill with fluid that is toxic to embryos. (The fluid is a result of endometriosis's inflammatory process and is full of endotoxins, that is, inflammatory proteins, white blood cells, and other harmful substances.) If the end of the tube that connects with the uterus is open, even a little, the fluid from the tubes can drip down into...

Removing your ovaries

In some cases, you and your doctor may elect to remove one or both ovaries (an oophorectomy) and not the uterus. This decision is unusual but has some good reasons. Sometimes one ovary keeps forming chocolate cysts and adhesions that cause pain and hormonal changes. When more conservative treatment has failed or the disease has recurred quickly, removing the bad ovary may be beneficial. Usually this radical surgery isn't for young women who may want to become pregnant. However, if one of the...

Considering progestins alone

Pregnancy often significantly reduces the symptoms of endometriosis because progesterone levels are high. Therefore, medication that raises these hormone levels and tricks the body into thinking that it's pregnant can also reduce the symptoms of endometriosis. One of the progestins, norethindrone acetate, is also used in BCPs and other hormonal contraceptive combinations, and the other, medroxyprogesterone acetate, isn't. Understanding how progestins treat endometriosis Pseudopregnancy with...

After ovulation the uterine lining changes again under the influence of progesterone from the corpus luteum the

If anything interferes with, blocks, or prevents one of these steps, pregnancy can't occur or early miscarriage may occur. And if no embryo arrives, hormone levels drop, and the lining begins to shed again as in Day 1 of the cycle. Unfortunately, endometriosis can interfere with the perfect progression of these steps in many ways. Each stage of endometriosis (usually noted as Stage I through IV, with IV the most severe) can affect different aspects of fertility. These variables make it very...

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...

Breathing Your Way to Feeling Better Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy may sound like it belongs on the perfume counter, but this approach isn't just about sniffing different odors. Aromatherapy utilizes the essential oils of plants both for their scent and for their medicinal properties. These aromatic oils can be extracted from the seeds, bark, leaves, flowers, wood, roots, or resin of a plant. Experts don't see aromatherapy as a cure for endometriosis but as an aid to strengthening the body's immune system to heal itself. Some of the oils for...

Breathing Slow and Easy

Pain may feel like a never-ending cycle. The pain makes you tense, the tension makes you breathe harder, and the hard breathing makes you more tense. To alleviate some of your pain, concentrate on breathing slow and easy. Have you ever had a child If so, do you remember the breathing techniques for the pain during childbirth All right, so they don't work 100 percent, but they can help you relax. Never been to a childbirth class The technique is simple Breathe in and out slowly, emptying your...

Trying Traditional Chinese Medicine

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) categorizes endometriosis as a blood stasis disease with formation of lumps. The Chinese name for endometriosis is actually neiyi, meaning internal lump. TCM relates blood stasis in the lower abdomen to back and pelvic pain. In addition, qi stagnation (restricted blood flow due to emotional distress) and coldness (decreased metabolism and circulation sometimes called kidney yang deficiency) cause the blood stasis. Since 1979, Chinese researchers have studied...

Endometriosis and your cervix and Vagina

Endometriosis of the cervix is quite rare. Why would endometriosis even develop there, because menstrual flow normally passes through these places That question is the great mystery of endometriosis, but possible causes are an altered immune response, metaplasia, or genetic defects of the endometrium (see Chapter 4 for more info on the possible causes). Two symptoms of endometriosis of the cervix are 1 Irregular bleeding, especially after sex The cervix is often contacted during sex, and...

Endometriosis Is All in Your Head

Even doctors used to believe that endometriosis was a psychological disease. The prevailing attitude was that, if you just stopped thinking about yourself all the time, all the pain would disappear. Some doctors actually believed that a woman's positive attitude would make the pain go away. Unfortunately, some professionals still use this rationale today. Although a positive attitude is certainly good to have throughout your life, you probably know that attitude doesn't decrease your...

Exploring the autoimmune connection

As the previous section explains, the immune system is very complex errors can occur. One error is when the body fails to recognize itself so it attacks its own proteins as if they were the invaders. This is called an autoimmune disease, and some evidence shows that endometriosis may be an autoimmune disease. Autoimmune diseases have the following characteristics 1 Hormonal element Because autoimmune diseases are more common in women than in men, a hormonal component is likely. 1 Numbers of...

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...

Staging Endometriosis

If your doctor diagnoses you with endometriosis, she may use a staging system developed by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) that categorizes endometriosis into four stages based on 1 The amount of endometriosis present 1 The location of the endometriosis 1 The severity of the disease Surgeons further classify endometriosis as superficial or deep 1 Superficial endometriosis lies more on the surface of a structure. 1 Infiltrative or deep endometriosis implants are deeper than...

Trying GnRH agonists

GnRH agonists are injected or implanted medications that have found wide use as a treatment for endometriosis. They work by causing a medical menopause with extremely low levels of estrogen (much like natural menopause). Although they're an effective treatment for endometriosis, they aren't without significant side effects. To understand how GnRH agonists work, you first need to understand gonadotropin-releasing hormones (GnRH). GnRH is a vital part of the menstrual cycle. The hypothalamus...

The destructive process literally eats away the area of the ovary that houses the primordial follicles leaving you with

Encountering endometriomas (chocolate cysts) Scar tissue that covers the surface of endometrial implants on the ovary is tough and fibrous. As this endometriosis spreads across the ovary, it takes the path of least resistance by growing into the softer stroma (the inside) of the ovary. As a result, chocolate cysts, or endometriomas, form from the surface of the ovary inwards. (The term chocolate refers to the brown-colored liquid made of old blood and tissue that's inside the cyst.) These cysts...

Inserting an IUD for pain relief

If you had an intrauterine device (IUD) in the past, the thought of using it for pain relief may seem a little foreign to you. After all, most IUDs are pretty uncomfortable at first, so how can one decrease pain IUDs are primarily a birth control device, so if you're planning on getting pregnant, an IUD isn't the method to use to decrease endometriosis However, unlike Depo-Provera (whose effects can last for months after your last injection), an IUD has no effects after you remove it, so you...

Endometriosis

Former Director of Endoscopic Surgery at Cooper Institute for Reproductive Hormonal Disorders Coauthor of Osteoporosis For Dummies 111 River St. Hoboken, NJ 07030-5774 Copyright 2007 by Wiley Publishing, Inc., Indianapolis, Indiana Published by Wiley Publishing, Inc., Indianapolis, Indiana Published simultaneously in Canada No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording,...

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...

Comparing the types of OTC painkillers

When you're walking the aisles of your neighborhood pharmacy, you basically can choose from two types of OTC pain medicines, or analgesics. You have acetaminophen, better known as Tylenol, which relieves pain but doesn't decrease inflammation, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs), which include aspirin and newer NSAIDS, such as ibuprofen, which relieve both pain and inflammation. We discuss all the options in the next sections. Acetaminophen, sold as Tylenol, is the most common OTC...

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,...

Just for Friends and Family Help and Support

Understanding the other pains of endometriosis Swimming together through infertility issues Being a good parent Getting the help you need Slaving a chronic illness isn't fun. No one can argue that. But it's no fun sometimes to be the significant other of someone who has a chronic disease, such as endometriosis. Living with endometriosis day to day can be stressful, not only for the patient, but also for her family and friends. If you're a significant other, a parent, a friend, or a family...

The Lowdown on Endometriosis A Quick Run Through

Understanding endometriosis basics Educating the public about endometriosis Knowing who's who in endometriosis Counting the real costs of endometriosis Answering the big question A self-test eople generally don't understand endometriosis very well. Until recently, * you didn't even hear about it unless you were at a gynecology convention But new research and better publicity have brought endometriosis to the public's attention, making many women wonder whether this is the nameless disease...

Looking at endometriosis under the scope

You would think that endometriosis always looks the same under the microscope, right Well, no. Even after a biopsy and under the microscope, this disease doesn't always look the same, even in the same woman. To diagnose this disease, the endometrial tissue, glands, and stroma must be present in the wrong place. But, in 30 to 50 percent of cases, the biopsy fails these criteria. How can this be Several reasons may be possible. t The surgeon doing the biopsy may just miss the real lesion. An area...

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...

Changing Your Bad Habits

Everyone has a bad habit or two behaviors you probably know aren't good for you, like eating the wrong foods, smoking, or overindulging in alcohol. Although the occasional indulgence probably won't hurt you, regular doses of things that aren't good for you can harm your health. When you have a chronic disease like endometriosis, anything that harms your health can worsen your symptoms. No matter what your bad habit is, this section can help. We provide plenty of information to help you change...

Endometriosis Only Exists in Industrialized Countries

This statement is a variation of the career woman myth. In the past, experts believed endometriosis was a disease only in industrialized countries where exposure to toxic chemicals was rampant. But researchers haven't proven this theory. Women in third-world countries have endometriosis, but, without the resources to obtain treatment, they're less likely to be diagnosed. These women also tend to have children at a younger age, which helps keep symptoms at bay longer. (See Chapter 4 for more on...

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...

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...

Easing the pain with just a little prick

Are you looking for a little extra pain relief from your endometriosis Acupuncture may be an option. Acupuncture and herbal medicines are frequent treatments for endometriosis and other pelvic disorders. These herbal medicines include plant elements, such as roots, barks, flowers, and fruits, and the formulas prescribed vary from person to person. Common acupuncture points in the treatment of endometriosis are the ears, abdomen, wrists, feet, legs, and back. Needles remain in place for 20 to 45...

Treating urinary tract endometriosis

Unfortunately, as with so many types of endometriosis, curing the disease in the urinary tract isn't possible. The goal of treatment is to decrease symptoms and prevent worsening of the disease. Your doctor tries to accomplish this with a nonsurgical approach, such as hormonal treatment and other medications, in most cases (see Chapter 10 for more info). In severe cases of endometriosis of the bladder, your doctor can perform surgery to remove part of the bladder (called a partial cystectomy)...

Another option Choosing laparotomy

Laparotomy means to enter the abdominal cavity via a large, or relatively large, incision. With the advent of mini-laparotomy techniques, the incision may be as small as 4 centimeters (about an inch and three-fourths), which is still bigger than the 1-centimeter incision for laparoscopy but far smaller (and easier to heal) than the common 12-inch wounds a few years ago. Before the boom of laparoscopic technology and training, a laparotomy was the only way to really treat endometriosis. Even...

Testing testing Ultrasounds Xrays CT scans MRIs and more

Have you ever wished you could just look inside your body and see what's giving you trouble Although Superman's X-ray vision was great, today's ultrasounds, X-rays, computed tomography-scan tests (CTs), and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRIs) are the next best thing. Ultrasound can help your doctor diagnose distorted or swollen fallopian tubes, endometriosis, other pelvic problems, and uterine anomalies. Ultrasound bounces sound waves off internal organs or tissues, detecting differences in the...

Contemplating Surgery to Improve Your Endometriosis

Knowing your surgical options Introducing the surgeon's tools Beginning conservatively Undergoing radical surgery Choosing what kind of surgery to have M doctors often suggest medical therapy as the first treatment for endometriosis symptoms. However, if you don't already have a definite diagnosis or the medication doesn't work for you, your doctor may suggest surgery. Surgery, then, can determine whether you actually have endometriosis or another disease, and in most cases, your surgeon can...

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...

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...

Whats the downside of IVF

So, you're thinking IVF is the perfect way to get pregnant, right Unfortunately, IVF isn't a bed of roses leading you to dirty diapers, empty bottles, and bundles of joy. You do need to consider the following cons before deciding if IVF is right for you 1 Cost IVF is very expensive, and not all insurance companies cover the cost. 1 No guarantee of success Your chances of pregnancy may be 50 percent or less. 1 Emotional strain Undergoing IVF can be stressful and frustrating, particularly if you...

Trying ablation of endometriosis

Facenerve Anatomy

No matter which approach you choose (laparotomy or laparoscopy), dealing with endometriosis lesions through ablation (surgical destruction) or excision (removal) remains controversial. Some surgeons prefer to remove only lesions involving important structures. Other surgeons remove every last bit of disease they can see. Who's right Both and neither. You should discuss these issues and the pros and cons with your doctor. Your doctor may use any or all of the instruments in the section, Naming...

Going for the Big Guns Is In Vitro Fertilization IVF Necessary

If your fallopian tubes are completely blocked, in vitro fertilization (IVF the removal of eggs from your ovaries by a surgical procedure and fertilizing them with sperm in a Petri dish and then putting the embryos into the uterus) is not only the best way to become pregnant, it's the only way. (For much more information on getting pregnant with IVF, check out Fertility For Dummies by Jackie Meyers-Thompson and Sharon Perkins Wiley .) And if the tubes have partial closure, the risk of ectopic...

Being honest with your potential boss

Is it better to tell a potential boss that you have a chronic disease, or is it wiser to keep quiet Several schools of thought exist about disclosing an invisible illness when you're applying for a new job. You certainly won't be the only one having this inner debate as many as 40 percent of American workers have a chronic illness, and employees justifiably worry about increased health costs and decreased productivity for this 40 percent. If endometriosis is just an inconvenience in your life...

Keeping a positive attitude

As with any chronic disease process, a positive attitude can't cure endometriosis, but it can make the disease much more tolerable for you and your family and friends. Staying positive may be an easy concept, but when you have to walk the walk not just talk the talk , the concept isn't that easy. However, you can express a positive attitude simply through an optimistic rather than pessimistic attitude toward life. We're not the only people in the world to say that a positive attitude can...

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...

Determining What Causes Endometriosis

Considering the more common theories Contemplating other theories Figuring out your immune system's role Examining the theories Which one is right Watching the ways endometriosis gets around Steering clear of endometriosis Feasible or not Endometriosis isn't an unknown disease, but it's still a mysterious one. The tissue that behaves normally in the endometrium the layer of tissue that lines the uterus causes all kinds of pain and dysfunction when it hits the road and travels through the...

Using the harmonic scalpel

The relatively new kid on the block is an ultrasonic device called the harmonic scalpel. This device uses rapid vibration 55,000 per second to disrupt the proteins in tissue. You may know this from the device your dentist uses to clean your teeth. The vibration or movement of the tips or blade causes cavitation collapse of the tissue and disruption of the proteins with implosion of the cells. Besides the rapid movement of the device over very small distances, no other energy source is used, so...

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...

Looking at a healthy cycle

Haematoma Fallopian

A normal menstrual cycle is like a complex work of art check out Figure 5-1 . Okay, you may not think that when you're changing pads or dealing with cramps, but your reproductive system really is amazing. And yet many women understand little of the menstrual cycle. When you understand all the intricate workings, you have a much better grasp of how endometriosis can gum up the works, so to speak. What exactly is the menstrual cycle anyway Is it just the time you're actively bleeding, or is it...

What a Gas Endometriosis and Your Intestines

If they're not out of order, you probably take your intestines the interchangeable term for bowels for granted. When it's working right, intestinal plumbing is fairly predictable, reasonably painless, and only occasionally inconvenient. But for many women with endometriosis, their intestines are truly in an uproar much of the time. That winding path of intestines is more complex than you may realize. For starters, that path is much longer than it first appears your large intestine is 5 feet...

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...

The Mystery of Traveling Endometriosis

You suspect you have endometriosis, or your doctor may have diagnosed you with the disease. However, you're wondering how the endometriosis you have in your pelvic area can end up in your lungs or even your brain. It didn't catch the red-eye from your uterus to your lungs, so how does endometriosis travel to different areas in your body from the pelvic area Animal studies show that when scientists place endometrial tissue into an animal's pelvic cavity, the tissue eventually resembles...

Endometriosis in the lining of the lung pleura

More than 90 percent of cases of pleural endometriosis are on the right side. Often small holes are in the diaphragm, the muscular membrane that separates the abdominal and thoracic cavities. Most patients with pleural endometriosis also have pelvic endometriosis. One theory is that endometriosis travels through the small holes in the diaphragm. When endometriosis is in the pleural tissue, the most common symptoms are l Pain with breathing motions l Pneumothorax collapsed lung l Pleural...

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...

Removing damaged intestine when your deep intestine endometriosis is severe

If you have deep intestinal endometriosis or the intestine is injured while removing superficial disease, the surgeon may have to remove a part of the intestines. This is a fairly routine procedure in a controlled situation, and a bowel prep can make the surgery and your recovery much simpler. Fortunately, only about 1 to 2 percent of women with endometriosis on the intestines need this type of surgery. When the surgeon anticipates and plans the removal of intestinal parts, he can perform a...

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...

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...

Endometriosis A Quick Review of Biology

Ureter Rectum Ovary

Understanding how endometriosis affects your reproductive system and other organs 7 he human body is amazing, and the female reproductive system is one of the most amazing parts of all. You may not have a good understanding of what exactly goes on in there you may have spent sex education class hiding your head under your school desk and giggling with your friends. This chapter fills in the gaps with knowledge about the female anatomy and physiology. In this chapter, we also explain what...

Endometriosis and your fallopian tubes

Scarred Fallopian

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...

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...

Suspecting Endometriosis Defining the Symptoms

Counting off the common symptoms of endometriosis Identifying the less common symptoms Tracking symptoms and other factors of endometriosis s something wrong with you, something you and your doctors can't put your collective fingers on You may wonder whether endometriosis is causing the symptoms that have been plaguing you. However, your symptoms seem so varied and elusive at times that you aren't quite sure what's wrong. In this chapter, we help you answer the question, Could I have...