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Endometriosis: Symptoms and Possible Treatments

Diagnosis

The medical terminology for the disease is centered around the term of endometriosis, but the emphasis is put on the differential symptoms. The examples include infertility, generalized pelvic pain, dyspareunia, and dysmenorrhea (Mounsey et al., 2006). In the case of the former, there are symptoms such as tubal disease or infection, male factor infertility, luteal phase deficiency, cervical factors, and anovulation (Mounsey et al., 2006). Generalized pelvic pain involves sexual or physical abuse, pelvic inflammatory disease, pelvic adhesions, ovarian torsion, non-gynecologic causes, malignant or benign neoplasms, and endometritis (Mounsey et al., 2006). In regards to dyspareunia, there are urinary causes, pelvic vascular congestion, musculoskeletal causes, infection, gastrointestinal causes, and diminished vaginal expansion (Mounsey et al., 2006). Dysmenorrhea can be categorized as primary and secondary, and the latter can be manifested in cervical stenosis, infection, myomas, or adenomyomas (Mounsey et al., 2006).

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Description

The given analysis will primarily focus on endometriosis, which is a disease of the reproductive system that affects the female segment of the population. Endometriosis is a process in which benign proliferation of tissue occurs outside the uterine cavity, similar in morphological and functional properties to the endometrium. Difficulties in managing patients with endometriosis are associated with an extremely variable clinical picture and severity of the course of the disease; tactics depend on the age of the patients, the form or stage of the disease, the nature of the symptoms, reproductive goals, as well as the risks, side effects and economic viability of treatment (Nezhat, 2020). In some cases, endometriosis is considered as a chronic recurrent disease in which patients are subject to constant attention and treatment. Despite the large number of studies devoted to various aspects of endometriosis, many questions of its etiology and pathogenesis, features of the clinical picture, depending on the localization of the process and the severity of the disease, have not yet been clarified; there are no data on the comparative information content of individual methods of diagnosis and detection of relapses, the effectiveness of different methods of treatment and rehabilitation. A number of theories for the occurrence of endometriosis include impaired embryogenesis, translocation of the endometrium from the uterine cavity through the fallopian tubes to the peritoneum during menstruation or during surgery, or dissemination of endometrial tissue from the uterine cavity through blood and lymphatic vessels.

Location

Endometriosis can take place in a wide range of locations around the pelvic region. The most common locations involve the lining of the pelvic cavity, the outer surface of the uterus, the space between the bladder and the uterus, the space between rectum and uterus, ligaments that support the uterus, the fallopian tubes, and the ovaries (Johns Hopkins Medicine, 2021). Rarely, the locations can be in abdominal surgery scars, the vulva, the cervix, the vagina, the bladder, the rectum, and the intestines (Johns Hopkins Medicine, 2021). It should be noted that the distinction between theories of the origin of endometriosis is conditional since each of them takes place in the development of a certain variant of endometriosis and corresponds to a certain form (Nezhat, 2020). Thus, the development of genital endometriosis may be associated with implantation, hormonal, immune, metaplastic, neoplastic, genetic theories. At the same time, extragenital endometriosis may be due to implantation, metaplastic, immune, and genetic theories (Nezhat, 2020). Genetic and immune frameworks are applicable to both forms of endometriosis, which shows the conventionality of the selection of these theories. Among the considered theories of the origin of endometriosis, two main ones can be distinguished, such as implantation and metaplastic (Nezhat, 2020). They reflect two alternative views on the occurrence of the pathological process, and this is either the endometrioid focus is an ectopic fragment of the endometrium, or it is a consequence of tissue metaplasia not associated with the endometrium.

Symptoms and Possible Treatments

It is important to note that the symptoms of the disease can vary greatly from one individual to another. The most common symptoms include some gastrointestinal issues, such as constipation or diarrhea, painful bowel movements, painful urination, infertility, heavy and abnormal menstrual flow, pain during intercourse, and exceedingly painful menstrual cramps (Johns Hopkins Medicine, 2021). One should be aware that the specific treatment procedure for the disease can only be determined by a healthcare provider, but the potential options involve pain medications, surgical therapies, and hormonal therapies. The latter might include synthetic testosterone derivatives, agonists of gonadotropin-releasing hormone, progestins, and oral contraceptives, whereas surgical options are hysterectomy, laparotomy, and laparoscopy (Johns Hopkins Medicine, 2021).

Medical Terms

Term Word Breakdown Explanation
endometritis Endon – “within,” metra – “uterus,” Irritation or inflammation of the lining of the endometrium
extragenital Extra – “outside,” genital – genitalia The disease can affect regions outside genitalia
myoma Myoma –“ braguette” Benign uterine muscle tumor
adenomyoma Adeno – “acorn,” myoma –“ braguette” Condition when endometrium breaks through the uterus wall

In conclusion, endometriosis is a pathological process characterized by the proliferation of tissue related to the endometrium outside the uterine mucosa. Despite the long history of its study, the question of the origin and pathogenesis of endometriosis is still controversial.

References

Johns Hopkins Medicine. (2021). Endometriosis. Johns Hopkins Medicine. Web.

Mounsey, A. L., Wilgus, A., & Slawson, D. C. (2006). Diagnosis and management of endometriosis. American Family Physician, 74(4), 594-600. PMID: 16939179.

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Nezhat, C. H. (2020). Endometriosis in adolescents: A comprehensive guide to diagnosis and management. Springer.

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StudyCorgi. (2022) 'Endometriosis: Symptoms and Possible Treatments'. 11 November.

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