When talking about endometriosis, it is immediately related to a female disease that happens inside the uterus or that the disease can only affect other organs of the female reproductive system. But what most are unaware of is that endometriosis outside the uterus is quite common and can reach a large number of organs in a woman’s body, both inside and outside her reproductive system.
But how does it happen? Well, that’s exactly what today’s text is going to talk about. But first, we need to clarify briefly what endometriosis is so that we can debate the subject more deeply.
What is Endometriosis?
Endometriosis is a disease that affects more than 2 million women in Brazil every year. It is a dysfunction that causes the endometrium, tissue that lines the inside of a woman’s uterus, to grow and spread to other organs.
About 50% of the cases of the disease cause the woman to become infertile , mainly due to the damage to the uterine tubes, which makes it difficult to transport the egg and sperm for fertilization.
Infertility, although it is one of the most talked about and known consequences of the disease, is not the only one. They vary from case to case, depending on the location and severity of endometriosis outside the uterus.
How does Endometriosis spread?
To understand how the disease spreads, we must first understand how endometriosis affects a woman’s organs. The endometrium, which is the tissue that lines the woman’s uterus, thickens every month so that the fertilized egg can be implanted in it.
It is a natural procedure of the woman’s reproductive system. When there is no fertilization, this thicker tissue is expelled through menstruation. The problem is when some part of that blood ends up deviating from the path and glowing in other organs, which ends up affecting them.
This explains why endometriosis can affect certain organs of the female reproductive system, but it still does not explain how the disease can affect more distant organs such as the lung and even the brain.
The fact is that, contrary to what many think, the disease does not spread as if it were a cancer, that is, the fact that it reaches more distant places does not mean that it is getting worse. What happens with endometriosis outside the uterus is that this tissue is often carried by the bloodstream and ends up in some of these organs further away from the uterus.
Main Symptoms of Endometriosis Outside the Uterus
There are different symptoms that may indicate that a woman is suffering from endometriosis. Pain during sexual intercourse and infertility happen in the vast majority of cases, usually together, although in some cases, only pain or just infertility may occur. But in addition to these two symptoms, we can identify others that also accuse the disease, such as:
- Much more intense menstrual cramps
- Fatigue and exhaustion
- Irregular vaginal bleeding
- During pain, nausea and vomiting
- Urinary and intestinal changes, especially during menstruation
- Severe premenstrual pain
How is the Diagnosis done?
A woman should see a gynecologist if she identifies these symptoms. Some of them may indicate the presence of any irregularity in the body other than endometriosis, but even so it is important to do all the tests to be sure of what it is.
The diagnosis of the disease is made based on some tests. The first to be done and most common is the vaginal touch exam, which can make your doctor discover any changes immediately, even though, in many cases, a transvaginal ultrasound is the most appropriate test to make a diagnosis more accurate and complete.
What Organs Can Endometriosis Outside The Uterus Affect?
As we said earlier, endometriosis outside the uterus is a disease that can affect not only organs around a woman’s reproductive system, but several others throughout the body. We will talk about the main cases and all the particularities of each one of them, as well as their symptoms and treatments. They are:
- Bladder Endometriosis
- Endometriosis in the Lung
- Endometriosis in the Brain
- Endometriosis in Sciatica
- Endometriosis in the Diaphragm
Endometriosis in the bladder is one of the rarest forms of the disease to spread, with a woman at most 2% chance of developing this problem. Still, it is important to be on the lookout for signs.
The main symptoms are severe pain when urinating, low and constant fever, very frequent trips to the bathroom and pain during sexual intercourse. The treatment, in turn, can be done with hormonal recomposition therapy or even with surgeries, depending on the case.
Endometriosis in the Lung
Also called thoracic endometriosis, it is a type that is also rare and can cause a woman to have not only external symptoms, such as coughing up blood, for example, but also symptoms that affect a woman’s psychological side , such as fatigue and even depression. As in other cases, this type of endometriosis outside the uterus can have different treatments and the doctor decides what is the best way in each case.
Endometriosis in the Brain
This type of endometriosis, as well as the thoracic, is considered a profound case. It can affect even more seriously the psychological side of a woman and the tests that identify the disease can vary, since, when such a case occurs, the suspicions are usually of other diseases, even because of the rarity with which this condition occurs. type of endometriosis occurs.
Endometriosis in Sciatica
Deep pain in the sciatic nerve, a burning sensation that spreads to the legs, frequent cramps and even muscle atrophy are some of the symptoms that endometriosis in the sciatica causes. The treatment for this type of problem does not differ much from the others, as it can vary from hormone replacement therapy to surgical procedures, depending on the severity.
Endometriosis in the Diaphragm
Endometriosis in the diaphragm is also a rare type of disease manifestation, which is usually detected by an MRI scan. As in other cases, treatments vary according to the severity of the problem.
Endometriosis is a type of disease that, while causing fear in many women, is largely unknown to most. It is important to know that endometriosis outside the uterus can happen and even more important to understand what causes this spread of the disease to other organs , so that the woman knows her own body better and prevents it from happening.
Nobody better than yourself to know what you are feeling and when and to know the time that it is necessary to visit a doctor because of abnormal symptoms. Remember: The sooner the disease is identified, the more likely it is to be cured and not spread to other organs.
My name is Dr. Alexis Hart I am 38 years old, I am the mother of 3 beautiful children! Different ages, different phases 16 years, 12 years and 7 years. In love with motherhood since always, I found it difficult to make my dreams come true, and also some more after I was already a mother.
Since I imagined myself as a mother, in my thoughts everything seemed to be much easier and simpler than it really was, I expected to get pregnant as soon as I wished, but it wasn’t that simple. The first pregnancy was smooth, but my daughter’s birth was very troubled. Joana was born in 2002 with a weight of 2930kg and 45cm, from a very peaceful cesarean delivery but she had already been born with congenital pneumonia due to a broken bag not treated with antibiotics even before delivery.