Diseases

Endometriosis

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From one endometriosis One speaks when cells of the uterine lining outside the uterine cavity (Cavum uteri) settle. While the condition is benign, many suffer from severe menstrual cramps, abdominal pain between menstrual periods, pain during intercourse, and infertility. Read here everything important about symptoms, causes, diagnosis, treatment and prognosis of endometriosis!

ICD codes for this disease: ICD codes are internationally valid medical diagnosis codes. They are found e.g. in medical reports or on incapacity certificates. N80D39ArtikelübersichtEndometriose

  • description
  • Symptoms and consequences
  • treatment
  • Causes and risk factors
  • Endometriosis & childbearing
  • Examinations and diagnosis
  • Course and prognosis

Endometriosis: short overview

  • What is endometriosis? One of the most common abdominal disorders in women. The uterine lining also settles outside the uterine cavity, on the ovaries or between the uterus and the rectum. Sexually mature women are usually affected. Only rarely does endometriosis become noticeable before the first or last menstrual period.
  • Causes: Unknown, but there are various assumptions, such as mucosal cells with backward-flowing menstrual blood through the fallopian tubes into the abdominal cavity or that a malfunction of the immune system is involved in the pathogenesis.
  • Symptoms and consequences: Some patients have no complaints. Others report severe menstrual pain, abdominal pain regardless of menstruation, pain during intercourse, urination or defecation. The illness can be very stressful and can be associated with infertility.
  • Treatment options: Medicines (pain killers, hormone preparations), surgery; supportive often complementary methods (such as relaxation techniques, acupuncture, etc.)
  • Forecast: Endometriosis is usually chronic. The course is unpredictable. Endometriosis herds can both spontaneously regress and spread. A therapy can usually relieve the symptoms, but often it comes afterwards to relapses. With the onset of menopause, the endometriosis usually comes to rest.
To the table of contents

Endometriosis: description

Endometriosis (English: endometriosis) causes scattered cell aggregates Uterine lining (endometrium) outside the uterine cavity on. These cell islands will be Endometriosis herd called. Depending on their location, doctors distinguish three major groups of endometriosis:

  • Endometriosis internal genital: Endometriosis foci within the muscular layer of the uterine wall (myometrium). Doctors speak of this adenomyosis (Adenomyosis uteri). In addition, endometriosis foci in the fallopian tube belong to the group endometriosis genitalis interna.
  • Endometriosis genitalis externa: Most common form of illness. Endometriosis foci in the genital area (in the pelvis), but outside the uterus, for example in the ovaries, on the uterus or in the Douglas space (depression between the uterus and the rectum).
  • Endometriosis extragenitalis: Endometriosis foci outside the small pelvis, such as in the intestine (endometriosis), in the bladder, in the ureters or - very rarely - in the lungs, brain, spleen or skeleton.
Endometriosis - where it occurs most often

  • Cells on the move

    Severe abdominal pain before and during the period is typical for endometriosis. This is where benign cells of the uterine lining settle outside the uterine cavity. Cysts often form from them. In addition, tissues and organs can stick together. Consequence is then often infertility. Thus, in half of women with an unfulfilled desire for a child endometriosis is the reason. Read here how to recognize the disease and what to do about it.
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  • Diagnosis only after many years

    About 40,000 women suffer from endometriosis every year. Many initially attribute the pain to their own period and do not go to the doctor. Therefore, on average, the diagnosis is made six years after the onset of the first symptoms - at the age of 30 to 40. Untreated, the splintered uterine lining spreads steadily and even after treatment, the endometriosis usually returns.
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  • Hormone-controlled cell heaps

    The scattered islands of uterine lining cells are estrogen-dependent. That is, they build up during the monthly cycle. This is often associated with convulsive pelvic pain. As with the regular period, the emigrated cell clusters bleed. But as they can not bleed to the outside, blood-filled cysts often form. Only with the onset of menopause has the suffering of many sufferers to an end, as the estrogen level drops.
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  • Bonded organs

    Also, adhesions and adhesions of various organs in the abdomen such as ovaries and intestines are common. This is often associated with permanent pain. Also the love life can affect the adhesions decisively: Depending on place and degree they cause strong pain during the sexual intercourse. In addition, the foci released inflammatory messengers that irritate the tissues and cause pain.
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  • Cells can even form on the lungs

    Theoretically, the lining of the uterine lining can spread to much of the body, including the lungs. Most, however, they are found in the abdominal and pelvic area, on the fallopian tubes, ovaries, the uterine wall or the peritoneum. The size of the cell island can vary greatly - it ranges from pinhead-sized deposits to several centimeter-sized cysts.
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  • Cause unclear

    The researchers do not yet know what the exact causes of the cell islands located in the wrong place are. It is conceivable that the interaction of the hormones and the immune system in the affected women is changed. For it is actually the task of the immune system to prevent cells from certain organs from growing in other parts of the body. Since several women in a family usually have endometriosis, a hereditary component is likely.
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  • Belly reflection - the method of choice

    An ultrasound scan or an MRI can substantiate a first suspicion of endometriosis. As a rule, however, a laparoscopy is necessary. It allows the doctor to see through a small cut on the navel into the abdominal cavity and remove any endometriosis herd with a knife, laser or electricity.
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  • Medication, surgery or both

    Endometriosis, which causes no discomfort, does not necessarily have to be treated. But in case of severe pain, unfulfilled desire to have children or functional impairment of an organ, three methods are used: an operative removal of the foci, drugs that reduce hormone production in the ovaries, or a combination of both.
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  • Special clinics and support groups

    Since many women have endometriosis, there are clinics - so-called endometriosis centers - that specialize in this disease and can provide extensive care and advice to those affected. In addition, it is also helpful for many women to join a self-help group. Because the constant pain and doctor visits also feed on the psyche.
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