Many women of reproductive age are aware of this diagnosis unfortunately not only from hearsay. In the world, endometriosis is in third place among gynecological diseases, yielding to inflammatory diseases and uterine myoma. The cunning of endometriosis is that for a long time it may not cause any symptoms, being at the same time one of the common causes of infertility. Let's try to figure out what the disease is, what causes it and what so dangerous about it is.
Endometriosis is a gynecological disease characterized by the proliferation of endometrial cells (the inner layer of the uterus) outside this layer. The main role of the endometrium is to create an optimal environment for engraftment of the fertilized gamete in the uterus. During pregnancy, vascular proliferation occurs in the endometrium being a part of the placenta and transferring oxygen and nutrients to the fetus. Endometrium is a hormonally sensitive layer, it grows and thickens in the last phase of the menstrual cycle. If conception does not occur, the upper layer of the endometrium is rejected and naturally leaves the uterus during the menstruation. It is a multicomponent complex system, which includes a variety of different cells, vessels, uterine and tubular glands. This tissue is extremely dependent on the hormonal balance of women. Under the action of estradiol, the endometrium grows in the first phase of the menstrual cycle, and under the action of progesterone it thickens and fills with blood after ovulation.
Naturally, not every cycle of a woman ends in conception. In the process of menstruation, endometrial cells are rejected and naturally excreted from the body through the cervical canal and vagina. If any failure occurs, it is possible to transfer endometrial cells in the cavity, organs and tissues. According to localization, endometriosis is divided into external (cells through the fallopian tubes enter the abdominal cavity and begin to grow) and internal (cells penetrate and expand in the inner layers of the uterus). External and internal endometriosis occur in a ratio of 1: 3. It is also customary to distinguish genital (in the organs and tissues of the reproductive system) and extragenital (outside the genital organs) endometriosis. Once in a favorable environment, the cells take root, grow and begin to form tissues in places completely atypical for them and completely unrelated to them. There have been cases of endometriosis, for example, in the eye or in the navel. Developing, endometrial cells continue to respond to changes in hormonal levels, causing pain and disrupting the functioning of the organs in which they have taken root. With a significant proliferation, compression of the nerves and nerve endings occurs, leading to neurological pathologies, possible bleeding threatening anemia, and the development of endometrial cells into cancer cells.
What is the cause of this disease? Doctors still have not come to a common opinion about the genesis of endometriosis. Some experts believe that endometrial cells are still in the process of fetal development into the organs and tissues, where they later begin to develop; others are inclined to believe that the reason is immune disorders in which the body is unable to cope with atypical cells. It is also commonly believed that the cause of endometriosis can be increased or decreased hormone levels, inflammatory processes, dysfunctional surgery, abortion, genetic predisposition and a number of other factors.
Scientists around the world are looking for methods of treatment and prevention of endometriosis. Unfortunately, today with this disease, the main direction of therapy is to relieve pain symptoms, suppress the activity of foci and restore fertility. Also used drug therapy (immune, hormonal), sometimes in combination with surgery.