Sometimes it happens that the cells present in the covering of the womb attaché to the other parts of the body. These cells rely upon the same hormones. They build themselves and break down as well as the normal cells. When these cells are present in the womb, they shed off regularly during the menstruation cycle or the periods. But when these cells get attached to the other parts they can’t be removed and start accumulating there leading to inflammation, ache, or tissue damage.
Almost one and a half million women undergo this condition every year in the UK. This condition mostly occurs at the age of childbearing.
Some common Signs and Symptoms of the Endometriosis
The simple and common symptoms of endometriosis are pain and discomfort in the abdomen and pelvic. This may also lead to the issues in bladder and bowel when these cells accumulate in the bladder or the bowel. The most common signs are:
- Intense pain, heaviness periods
- Irregular periods
- Difficult bowel movements
- Issues related to fertility
Some women may also complain about:
- Aching bladder
- Urination issues
- Pain in back, leg, groin
Why does an individual with Endometriosis may also experience bladder or bowel issues?
The cells which seem normal for the womb might dig deeper into the bladder and bowel or they may dig deeply in the walls of the bladder or bowel. The cells in the lining of the bladder or bowel act normally as they do in the womb, the problem starts when they start bleeding and this blood gets trapped in the organs. This trapped blood causes inflammation and pain. Most commonly it affects the bowel of the women. The pain may be a reason for the difficult urination or bowel movement. In case if the bladder got attacked then the bladder feels more stimulated, you feel the urge to use the washroom again and again due to the pain. If the bowel is affected then it may be followed by diarrhea, constipation, and bloating.
Treatments for Endometriosis
Unfortunately, there is no proper cure available till now. But the goal of the treatment is to relieve the symptoms and lessen the intensity of the pain. If the medicines can treat this then there are chances to reduce the risk of bladder and bowel issues.
If you have moderate symptoms but you are facing discomfort then you can help yourself by holding a hot water bottle near the affected region. You can also take a hot bath to lessen the cramps or contractions and you will feel better.
- Using TENS machine
TENDS means Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulator. It has two electrodes that can be attached to the skin and the electric impulses reach the body, it helps in obstructing or blocking the nerves which carry pain messages. You can consult with your doctor while selecting the best TENS machine for you. You can’t but it without recommendation because it might be not suitable for patients with cardiac issues.
- Light Exercise
You can do some light exercises to relieve pain such as yoga, Pilates. These can help in the consolidation of the pelvic region. Doing exercise stimulates the release of the endorphins which can reduce the pain and freshen up your mood.
You can take painkillers in case of severe pain to relieve the pain. In case of mild pain, paracetamol can be effective. You can use NSAIDS drugs like ibuprofen to reduce inflammation and pain. NSAIDs are not for every person especially the one with kidney issues. The individuals must take recommendations from eh doctor before taking NSAIDs. Codeine is a very effective and high dosage pain killer but it leads to constipation, which may worsen the situation if your bowel is affected.
Tricyclic and other anti-depressants can also help in reducing the pain by soothing the nerves.
- Oral Contraceptive Tablets
This tablet involves the combination of two hormones estrogen and progesterone and it helps to stop ovulation. These hormones help in reducing the lining of the womb. This helps in reducing the periods and symptoms of endometriosis.
The drugs which contain progesterone help in reducing the related inflammation and growth. These drugs may also be used to stop ovulation or periods. Some common treatments are:
The modified type of natural hormone gonadotropin is known as GnRH Analogues. This drug aims to reduce the level of oestrogen in the body and causing momentary menopause.
It is a hormone produced in men but it is artificially created to reduce the production of oestrogen and progesterone, which helps in momentary menopause.
It is also known as keyhole surgery. It may involve laser or cutting off the cells as they grow in other parts. This procedure may be repeated due to re-occurring endometriosis.
- Bowel Surgery
In case of an affected bowel, bowel surgery may be needed. It can be open surgery or laparoscopy depending on the condition of the patient.
It is a major surgery in which the womb is removed. The ovaries may also be removed or remain intact. This is recommended when the patients have no plans for the family. It is an irreversible process and can’t be undone. It also has some side effects and complications.
In this condition, either both or only a single ovary is removed. This leads to permanent menopause. It is done when all the other treatments get fail.