Do you have endometriosis? If yes, you will have to seek timely surgical intervention. Not doing so can land you in serious trouble. It can cause pain, bloating, excess menstrual bleeding, urinary complications along with digestive distress. It may even take a toll on your fertility. Endometriosis will severely rob you of a good quality of life. Read on to know more about the risks and complications of untreated endometriosis.
What is endometriosis?
Endometriosis is a common gynaecological condition seen in women of reproductive age. It is a condition wherein the endometrial tissue (lining the inside of the uterus) tends to grow anywhere outside the ovaries, Fallopian tubes, bowel, bladder, etc., which means any organs surrounding the uterus.
Symptoms of endometriosis
Common symptoms of the condition include dysmenorrhoea (painful periods), painful intercourse, heavy menses, pain while passing urine and stool, blood in urine, diarrhoea, or constipation.
If it affects the ovary, a condition known as ovarian endometriosis or chocolate cysts, it can destroy the ovarian egg reserve, which can lead to infertility issues. A Laparoscopy with tissue biopsy (Gold Standard), will be done to diagnose this condition.
4 stages of endometriosis
Endometriosis is classified into 4 stages. During stage I, there will be minimal endometriosis and one may not experience pain. In stage II, the disease will be mild disease and scar tissue will be formed. Stage III means moderate disorder with cysts present on the ovaries and even chocolate cysts of bigger size and adhesion that can be painful. In stage IV, there will be many cysts and adhesion, involving the urinary bladder and bowel, which can be bothersome.
Side effects of untreated endometriosis
1. One will have pelvic pain as the endometrial tissue grows outside the uterus causing pain.
2. It may also cause heavy periods, painful bleeding between periods, and pelvic pain.
3. Endometriosis can trigger infertility issues as the endometriosis tissue can damage the uterus lining, making it more difficult for a fertilised egg to implant, causing the failure of IVF cycles, and making pregnancy impossible.
4. It may also destroy the ovaries, making it harder for a woman to conceive.
5. Untreated endometriosis can cause loss of pregnancy, preterm birth, a baby with low birth weight, and cesarean delivery.
6. Endometrial adhesion near the intestines, bladder, and rectum lead to incontinence, and trouble urinating, or pooping.
7. It can also cause constipation, diarrhoea, and chronic inflammation throughout the body.
8. Moreover, it can also lead to depression, anxiety, stress, frustration, and agitation in women and can severely compromise the quality of life.
Treatment of endometriosis
Clinical examination, including vaginal examination where appropriate, should be taken into consideration in people with probable endometriosis in order to discover deep nodules or endometriomas (cystic lesions) even though the diagnostic accuracy is restricted. Laparoscopies, MRIs, and ultrasounds are frequently used to identify endometriosis.
Also read: Reduce your endometriosis pain with these 6 hacks
Based on the patient’s goals and the seriousness of the situation:
- If a woman wants to get pregnant but her ovaries are cystic, she may need to have laparoscopic surgery followed by fertility treatments. The cysts don’t need to be operated on if they are small.
- As progesterone-derived pills either slow down or stop the period, which limits the growth of endometriotic tissue, you can take them daily to relieve pain and enhance the quality of life.
- The final option is a hysterectomy with the removal of the ovaries when all other options have been exhausted.
So ladies, keep a check on your symptoms and consult with the doctor!