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Endometriosis Outside the Uterus | Treating your Endometriosis

Endometriosis Outside the Uterus

Finding support can really help an endometriosis sufferer cope with her often painful condition.  What makes endometriosis painful?  Endometrial tissue from the uterus develops and grows in areas outside the uterus, and each month during menses, this tissue breakdown and causes problems within the reproductive system.

The areas where endometrial tissue can take root and develop include, but may not be limited to:
• The outside surface of the uterus
• Ovaries
• Fallopian tubes
• Ligaments supporting the uterus
• Internal region between the rectum and the vagina
• Lining of the pelvic cavity
• Intestines
• Bowels
• Other organs within the abdomen

The endometrial growths that occur in areas of the body outside the uterus are called endometrial implants.  These implants may cause a woman to feel symptoms, typically around her period, but symptoms may occur in-between periods, or may not be felt at all.

The reason why women can feel symptoms is because endometrial implants grow, bleed and breakdown just like endometrial tissue does in the uterus during each menstruation cycle.  The breakdown of the abnormal endometrial tissue can cause irritation in the surrounding area resulting in pain.  It can also interfere with the functioning of other organs, and over time the continuous development and breakdown of endometrial tissue, can cause adhesions or scarring to occur in the reproductive organs.  Researchers believe that the scarring of the reproductive organs is what causes infertility.

Doctors are not exactly sure why endometrial tissue develops and grows outside the uterus, but there are many theories that are currently being explored.  One theory suggests that during menstruation, some of the blood flow that carries uterine lining, reverses and goes back up though the fallopian tubes and into the abdomen.  The tissue then attaches itself to other areas and begins to grow outside the uterus.

A second theory suggests that endometrial tissue cells travel through blood or lymph vessels out of the uterus and begin growing in different locations they are deposited on.  While a third theory suggests that some females are born with cells that have been “misplaced”, and can morph into endometrial implants when the female reaches maturity.

There are many other theories that exist.  Medical researchers and scientists are doing all they can to learn about endometriosis and why it occurs, by exploring present theories and considering new ones.

A woman who suffers from symptoms caused by endometrial implants may be able to find relief, even though her condition cannot be cured.  The following are some treatments that may be recommended by a doctor:

Surgery – Laparoscopic surgery is the most common form of surgical treatment.   This is when a doctor removes the endometrial implants with an intense light beam.  This treatment is usually effective in relieving symptoms.  However, symptoms often return when the endometrial tissue grows back.

Sometimes, more extensive surgery is required, such as the removal of the ovaries or fallopian tubes if they have become too damaged from endometrial growths.

Hormone therapy – Different types of hormone therapy, such as birth control pills, are prescribed to endometriosis sufferers who are not trying to become pregnant and meet the criteria for taking treatment.  Hormone therapy helps limit the release of hormones that trigger reproduction hormones that cause endometrial implants to grow.  The insufficient amount of hormone helps to make endometriosis less painful and bothersome.

Lifestyle change – Maintaining a healthy diet, engaging in reasonable exercise, and making sure your body is well rested, can help make menses less painful.  Furthermore, many endometriosis sufferers find that relaxation techniques such as meditation and yoga are helpful.

Despite the fact that endometriosis can wreak havoc on a woman’s reproductive system and cause painful symptoms, there is some good news in that most women find relief from their endometriosis when they reach menopause.

For more information about the different causes of endometriosis and for information on natural treatments please visit Treating Your Endometriosis.

4 Responses

  1. crystal
    February 2nd, 2007 | 9:45 pm

    Hello i am 23 years old and have been suffering with endometriosis since i was a teenager. I wanted to know if the endometriosis can travel to your skin because sometimes different parts of my body swell up such as my arms and legs and even my eye.

  2. February 17th, 2007 | 5:22 am

    Crystal, I am not sure if it affects your skin, I don’t think so. research more. I think that problem is do to some type of allergy you may have

  3. February 22nd, 2007 | 7:54 pm

    Endometriosis can lead to a hypersensitivity of the immune system making you more susceptable to allergies. It would be a worth a visit to you doctor to discuss the possible causes of the swellings.

  4. February 23rd, 2007 | 8:58 am

    [...] By Shelley Ross. To find out more about endometriosis diagnosis and for information on endometriosis characteristics please visit Treat Endometriosis, where you can also sign up for a free newsletter focusing on treating endometriosis. [...]

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