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Added August 01, 2013

What is Endometriosis?

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What is Endometriosis?

Endometriosis is a disease that affects girls and women during their menstrual years. Basically with endometriosis, the uterine lining (endometrium) moves outside the uterus and builds up in other parts the body, mostly in the area around the uterus. This can affect how the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and the other pelvic organs work.

 

Wherever it starts building up, this endometrial tissue starts to act like the endometrium. This means that when hormones cue the endometrium to build up during the menstrual cycle, the misplaced endometrial tissue goes through the same process. So when it's time for menstruation, the endometrial tissue "bleeds." But since the tissue isn't in the uterus, the blood never leaves the body. This can lead to very bad pain, scarring and, even infertility.

 

The symptoms of endometriosis can be really severe or mild. The main symptom is pain, and the level of pain doesn't seem to have much to do with how serious a case of endometriosis. Women with a slight case of it may experience more pain than do others with severe cases.

The specific symptoms may include: 

  • dysmenorrhea (pain during menstruation)
  • pain at ovulation (mid-cycle)
  • pain during sexual intercourse
  • heavy periods
  • spotting

 

How do you get it?
No one's exactly sure why endometriosis happensbut it does seem to be somewhat hereditary. In fact, if your mother or sister had it, your risk is doubled. Hormones also play a parthigher estrogen levels and heavy periods increase risk. Finally, ethnicity is a factor: White women are at a higher risk than African American women.

 

Because symptoms of endometriosis can be confused with other problems, like ovarian cysts, the disease can sometimes be hard to diagnose or identify. For an accurate diagnosis, a woman needs to have a pelvic exam and probably a laparoscopy, where a small incision is made below the belly button and a laparoscope (a narrow, lighted tube) is inserted. Then the doctor can examine the uterus, ovaries, and surrounding areas.

 

How do you treat it?
Standard treatments for endometriosis usually start with the first step listed below, and go through the next steps if necessary.

  • Step 1: Taking a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug like ibuprofen.
  • Step 2: Staying on birth control pills continuously for at least three months.
  • Step 3: Taking a medication (called GNRH-agonist), which inhibits ovarian hormone productionthis can help "dry up" the endometriosis
  • Step 4: Laparoscopic surgeryA small incision is made in the lower abdomen and a tube with a viewing instrument is used to look around. If endometriosis is seen, it can be removed and/or "burned" away.

 

How can I avoid it?
While there is no way to avoid endometriosis, there are several factors that reduce risk:

  • LifestyleLow body weight may reduce risk by decreasing estrogen levels
  • Contraceptive UseOral contraceptives may reduce risk
  • Obstetric HistoryPregnancy and breast feeding reduce risk
  • Treatment HistoryPrior medical/surgical treatment reduces risk

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9
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tekas
tekas
Posted January 07, 2014
I was diagnosed with Endometriosis In April of 2012. Had laproscopic surgery the following July of the same year. Since it doesn't go away, I experienced that it lies unactive at times so to speak. You feel it more during your period. As I am sitting, typing the message I am feeling pelvic pains. Sometimes you can do most normal movement. It does take some getting used to in order to continue your normal daily activities.
girlscout01
girlscout01
Posted July 16, 2013
I know 2 years is a long time but I hope you are much better!
mmmrro
mmmrro
Posted June 15, 2012
I have endometriosis and i havent started it yet. after reading this im not sure if i will get my period or not it seems that all that stuff stays inside my body
elierules
elierules
Posted May 18, 2012
i'm more than exxxxxxxxxxxxxxxtremely late but i hope you're alright mzscott81
katnissandpeeta4eva
katnissandpeeta4eva
Posted June 11, 2012
I'm scared now.
micki mouse roxx8
micki mouse roxx8
Posted July 15, 2012
well now i know what it is:)
pinopalie
pinopalie
Posted October 10, 2011
I know this is late, but good luck mzscott81!!!!:)
mzscott81
mzscott81
Posted August 17, 2011
Thanks for this, I have been having lots of pain and someone told me about this and it looks like I have all the symtoms so time to go to the doctor!
KittyKat<3
KittyKat<3
Posted December 31, 2011
-Extremely late on this- Good Luck! Hope you'll be ok. :)
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