Endometriosis is a painful gynaecological disorder in which a tissue that resembles the tissues lining the endometrial cavity or the uterus lies outside the uterus. It mostly involves the fallopian tubes, ovaries, and the tissues that line the pelvis. Very rarely, this condition may affect organs outside the pelvic cavity.

In endometriosis, this additional tissue thickens, disintegrates, and breaks just like the endometrial tissue does with each menstrual cycle. However, this tissue gets trapped inside the body as it has no way to escape. When ovaries are involved in endometriosis, cysts known as endometriomas may develop. Also, the surrounding tissues get irritated, leading to the formation of scar tissue and adhesions. Adhesions are bands of fibrous tissues that cause pelvic organs to stick to each other.

The main symptom of endometriosis is a pain in the pelvis that often coincides with the time of menstrual periods. Many normal females experience cramping pain during their periods; females with endometriosis typically describe the pain to be far worse than the normal menstrual pain. It is also possible for the pain to increase in intensity over time. Other signs and symptoms of endometriosis include dysmenorrhea, pain with intercourse, pain with urination or bowel movements, excessive bleeding at the time of menstruation, infertility, tiredness, constipation, diarrhoea, nausea or bloating, especially at the time of periods.

The harshness of the pain is not always a reliable indicator of the extent of your condition. Even mild endometriosis is sometimes associated with immense pain. On the other hand, some females with advanced endometriosis sometimes have little or no pain.

Sometimes endometriosis is mistaken for some other gynaecological conditions that lead to pelvic pain like ovarian cysts, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). In fact, irritable bowel syndrome is sometimes accompanied by endometriosis, which complicates the diagnosis.

If you notice signs and symptoms of endometriosis as mentioned above, you should visit the Department of Gynaecology and Obstetrics at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital, Navi Mumbai and get an appointment with an expert doctor.

Although the exact cause that leads to endometriosis is not known, there are certain factors associated with the disease, including:

  • Retrograde menstruation
    In this condition, the menstrual blood that has the endometrial cells flows back via the fallopian tubes into the uterus or the pelvic cavity instead of going out of the body. The cells of the endometrium in the menstrual blood stick to the pelvic cavity walls when they grow and thicken. Eventually, they bleed over each menstrual cycle.
  • Transformation of peritoneal cells
    Some experts propose that immune factors or hormones promote peritoneal cell transformation into cells that look like endometrial cells.
  • Embryonic cell transformation
    Sometimes, hormones like oestrogen may cause the transformation of embryonic cells into endometrium-like cells during puberty.
  • Surgical scar implantation
    The endometrial cells may adhere to a surgical incision site post-surgery, such as a C-section or a hysterectomy.
  • Endometrial cell transport
    The lymphatic system or the blood vessels may transport the cells of the endometrium to other body parts.
  • Immune system disorder
    If there is a disorder in the immune system, the body may be unable to identify or destroy tissue that is endometrium-like but grows outside of the uterus.

The management of endometriosis can be challenging in many cases, but with the right medical team, you will be able to get optimum treatment and care for your condition. In fact, timely diagnosis, an understanding of your diagnosis, and collaboration among a dedicated multidisciplinary medical team may result in better management and an improved outcome.

Backed by the expertise and knowledge of the best doctors in the country who practises world-class health practices and are supported by modern equipment and state-of-the-art infrastructure, The Department of Gynaecology and Obstetrics at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital, Navi Mumbai provides round-the-clock services for a wide range of gynaecological and obstetrical disorders.