Endometriosis treatment is a subject which has many theories based on a lot of trial and error. The reason why there is no clear cut treatment is that no one really knows what causes this disease. Most treatments are used to help control the disease and mitigate the symptoms it causes.
The symptoms of endometriosis affect the women who suffer them in various ways. Most women notice an increase in symptoms as their menstrual period approaches and begins. In rarer cases the symptoms persist through the entire month. The discomfort and pain is generally localized in the pelvic, abdominal or spine regions. The severity of the pain caused varies from woman to woman. Endometriosis can also cause heavy menstruation and in severe cases infertility.
The initial step to endometriosis treatment is getting properly diagnosed. Women who experience endometriosis symptoms should see their gynecologist. In some cases an ultrasound or MRI can detect the tiny endometrial growths but a definitive diagnosis can only just be made through laparoscopic surgery. Laparoscopy is a minimal invasive procedure when a thin tube with a light and camera on the end is inserted in to the abdomen. This gives the doctor a genuine time view of any endometrial lesions, their size and extant of these growth. Once a confident diagnosis is made treatment plans may then be discussed and considered.
Endometriosis Treatment – Choices for Treating Endometriosis
When an endometriosis treatment plan is being discussed there are numerous points that need to be considered by the woman and her doctor.
? How severe will be the symptoms
? What sort of symptoms is she having
? How old is she
? Is she trying to get pregnant
? How long if the treatment last
? What side effects will drug treatment have
? How much will it cost
Once these questions are answered a treatment plan for endometriosis could be made.
Understanding what causes endometrial cells living beyond your uterus to grow is important in knowing why certain treatments work better than others. Endometriosis is a disease driven by a woman’s hormonal cycle and in particular estrogen. As a woman’s estrogen levels increase through the month endometrial tissue in the uterus thickens with blood and nutrient rich tissue as it prepares for a fertilized egg. Any endometrial tissue beyond your uterus in the abdomen responds in the same fashion.
Hormone endometriosis treatment functions by limiting or controlling the quantity of estrogen made by a woman’s body. Lowering the estrogen level limits how much growth the endometrial cells can undergo thereby limiting the irritation and inflammation they cause.
The hormone control drugs found in the treatment of endometriosis include:
? Birth control pills
? GnRH agonists
? Progesterone hormone tablets
Using hormone drugs being an endometriosis treatment is generally prescribed for women who have milder cases of the condition. Hormonal treatments suppress the power of the endometrial cells to thicken with blood thereby helping to relieve the outward symptoms. By reducing the number of estrogen the drugs “starve” the endometrial tissue causing them to shrink and be inactive.
Drug treatment only works during the time the girl is taking the medication. It is not a cure but a means of managing the endometriosis. If and when the medications stops the endometriosis can be active again over a period of 12 to 24 months.
Women with more severe forms of endometriosis normally need to look at the surgical option of endometriosis treatment. Whenever there are endometrial lesions over 3cm in diameter and/or a lot of adhesions the chances of those responding to medications are minimal.
The most common form of surgical endometriosis treatment is laparoscopy. Generally known as keyhole surgery, laparoscopy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure in which a small quarter inch incision is manufactured just below the belly button. The laparoscopic instrument, that includes a small light and camera attached, is then inserted into the abdomen and the surgeon can look for and destroy any endometrial tissue they find.
Endometrial lesions are destroyed using a procedure known as diathermy. A power current is passed down an excellent probe attached to the laparoscopic instrument and is used the burn the lesion off the surrounding tissue. In some instances lasers may also be used to exactly the same effect. Other surgical instruments such as small scissors and scalpels can also be used the take away the endometrial tissue. This type of surgery has a 70% success rate in improving the pain causing symptoms of endometriosis.
A Laparotomy is a surgical endometriosis treatment that’s used once the endometrial lesions and adhesions are larger and more widespread. It requires the surgeon to open the abdominal cavity for better access to the affected areas. This sort of surgery carries greater risks then a laparoscopic procedure as it can be an operation that is more serious and involved.
The final surgical option for women with endometriosis is hysterectomy and oophorectomy. This can be a surgery of the uterus and ovaries. That is a radical endometriosis treatment option because this sort of surgery will cause a female to get into early menopause. The ovaries should be removed because they are responsible for making a lot of the estrogen within a woman’s body and estrogen may be the primary hormone responsible for endometrial flare ups.
Any surgical procedure posesses certain amount of risk and should be discussed thoroughly with the woman’s physician.
Endometriosis Treatment – Conclusion
Any woman undergoing endometriosis treatment must remember that this disease still does not have any identifiable cause nor will there be a clear cut cure. For Endometriosis risks will find a chance that symptoms will re-occur after a particular treatment regimen is discontinued. Discussing any and all treatment possibilities with the girl gynecologist is the best solution to understanding the what, how and just why of endometriosis treatment.