Endometriosis

back pain may be one of the symptoms of endometriosis, which is a gynecological condition that results from cells from the lining of the uterus migrating to and proliferating in other areas of the body. When these uterine cells break off of the lining of the uterus (endometrium), they may lodge themselves onto other structures within the pelvis and outside the pelvis. When this occurs, the patient may experience pain in the pelvic cavity, as well as lower back pain. In additional to the pain and discomfort, the growth of these cells outside the uterus may cause reduced functioning of the structures it lodges onto. These cells may cause the pain and disruptive functioning of tissues and structures outside of the pelvic cavity, including the intestines and bowels. The condition is typically idiopathic (of no known cause) though research points to diet and secondary conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and ME hypothyroidism as linked to this gynecological condition. In many cases, doctors are able to eliminate the symptoms of endometriosis and to restore the functioning of the affected structures by removing the uterine tissues from the structures they are attached to. In other cases, treatment of this condition may result in sterility of the patient and the requirement of removal of the structures affected. One of the most common targets of these runaway uterine cells is the ovaries of females, which may result in the requirement of the removal of the ovaries. Doctors will explore every treatment option available to save the ovaries and prevent the need for this treatment, if possible.



Signs and Symptoms. Pain and discomfort is one of the earliest signs of this condition. Typically, the patient experiences pelvic pain when the site of attachment and growth is in organs or tissues in the pelvic cavity. The physical pain and discomfort may be isolated to the pelvic region, or it may extend to the lower back or even down the legs. Often the severity of pain that a person has does not closely relate to the size of uterine material found on structures or the amount of structures in the pelvic cavity involved. The amount of scarring and damaged caused by this condition often does not closely relate to the patient's experience of pain and other symptoms. Symptoms of endometriosis, other than physical pain, include:
  • Pain that occurs during sex (dyspareunia)
  • Pain that occurs while urinating, or urgency and frequency associated with urinating (dysuria)
  • Chronic pelvic pain, which may also me accompanied by abdominal pain and low back pain
  • Dysmenorrhea involves increased pain levels associated with menstruation. Over time, the increased pain associated with the menstrual cycle may get worse, and the pain may spread to the lower back.
  • Rectal pain
Other symptoms of endometriosis include chronic fatigue and constipation, which may or may not let up at the end of a patient's menses. Infertility is a major issue associated with this condition, due to the adhesions and scarring that often occurs as a result of this inappropriate cell growth. In addition to the scarring that may result from the attachment of these tissues. Also, these lesions formed release factors that may cause harm to the ovaries and inhibit their production of healthy gametes.

Treatments. Often, the use of oral contraceptives will help or prevent this condition. There is no known cure for this condition, though it can be managed well with medications. Many medications prescribed to treat this condition involving decreasing estrogen levels, which normally increase during the menstrual cycle. Medications prescribed to treat endometriosis include Progesterone and Progestins, Danazol and gestrinone, and Gonadotropin Releasing Hormone (GnRH).

In the event of severe stage 3 and stage 4 level endometriosis, a hysterectomy may be performed, A hysterectomy is the removal of the patient's uterus.