Endometriosis is a common gynaecological health disorder which affects millions of women. It occurs when normal endometrial tissue (tissue that normally lines the inside of your uterus) grows outside the uterus. This misplaced tissue in most cases implants itself and grow anywhere within the abdominal cavity-- commonly involves your ovaries, bowel or the tissue lining your pelvis. But in some cases it may spread beyond the pelvic region. It can cause symptoms such as pain, irregular bleeding, and problems getting pregnant (infertility).
How to prevent endometriosis
The exact cause of endometriosis is not known and there are no known ways to prevent it. But certain factors which increase your risk of developing endometriosis include:
- Family history of endometriosis (close relative with endometriosis, especially a mother or a sister). According to studies if you have an affected mother or sister you are seven to 10 times more likely to develop endometriosis.
- History of consistently short (less than 25 days) menstrual cycle.
- History of heavy menstrual flow during each period and long menstrual cycles (lasting more than a week).
- Abnormality in the reproductive tract that blocks or constricts your cervix or vagina.
- You have a congenital anomaly of the uterus, such as a double uterus or a double cervix.
How to control symptoms
Currently, there are no known ways to prevent endometriosis of cure it. Hysterectomy with removal of ovaries as well does not guarantee that the endometriosis areas and/or the symptoms of endometriosis will not come back. Some ways to control symptoms in endometriosis include:
- Long-term use of birth control hormones (patch, pills, or ring) may prevent or slow down the development of the endometriosis. It may also prevent endometriosis from becoming worse.
- Exercise regularly. It helps to improves blood flow, and causes release of certain pain-relieving substances naturally made by the body (endorphins), and reduces pain
- Take your medications. Take a pain reliever medication at the recommended dose as soon as your discomfort begins or the day before your menstrual period is scheduled to start. Taking the medicine when the pain becomes "really bad" is not as effective. Taking all your medicine as recommended regularly at scheduled doses is useful.