Menopause does not always involve interruption of endometriosis. While in some women, this condition disappears, in others, it persists and tends to complicate. Each case is developed uniquely, so personalized medical attention is required for its management.
Endometriosis is the presence of endometrial tissue outside the cavity of the uterus, which is where it is usually located. It is considered a chronic disease since it is painful and lasts over time. Below, we detail more about your symptoms and possible treatments.
What is endometriosis?
It is common for the endometrial tissue to thicken and bleed with each menstrual cycle. When there is endometriosis, some similar tissues behave as if they were endometrial; however, they have no way of leaving the body.
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What happens in these cases is that this tissue is trapped. Consequently, they eventually become irritated, form fibrous tissue, and contribute to the tissues and organs of the pelvic area sticking together. In turn, it improves pain.
This disease especially affects the ovaries, pelvic tissue, and fallopian tubes. Sometimes it can also impact the ligaments and the peritoneal surface, as well as the intestines and the bladder.
Often, the symptoms of this disease tend to disappear at menopause. During this period of life, the menstrual cycle’s hormonal stimuli are not present and, therefore, the ectopic endometrial tissue is reduced or disappears. If the woman is treated with hormone replacement, the symptoms may return.
Endometriosis and menopause
At a certain age, around the age of 50, women’s bodies stop producing estrogen, which is related to the development of endometriosis. The hormonal change, therefore, leads to the symptoms of this disease beginning to disappear.
However, there are many cases in which this condition does not disappear with the arrival of menopause. If so, the woman may continue to experience small blood losses—Fibroids form in the ovary, fallopian tubes, etc.
It may also happen that endometriosis in menopause is more complicated than in previous moments in the patient’s life. These are cases that do not remit with medication and whose symptoms are manifested with greater severity. For this reason, in this situation, it is possible to opt for surgical intervention.
Endometriosis can be treated with hormones or surgery; This will depend on the specific location of the endometrial tissues. If what is sought is to reduce pain, pharmacological treatment is the most advisable, in most cases.
When the disease persists during menopause, it must be treated with extreme care. The hormone replacement therapy, used during this stage of women’s lives, may cause more pain in the pelvic area or bleeding.
Therefore, it is vital to consider the pros and cons of these therapeutic options when it comes to gynecological consultation. In the case of extensive endometriosis, the most advisable is surgical treatment. The most used procedures are the following:
- Laparoscopy, which seeks to remove scars or burn damaged tissue, without removing the healthy one.
- Laparotomy, a major surgery in which the entire endometrium is removed.
Sometimes, in the most severe cases, it is necessary to resort to the definitive removal of the uterus, or hysterectomy. However, it is not very often that this happens.
Useful information on endometriosis
Endometriosis is a benign disease that does not lead to cancer in the vast majority of cases. Frequently, it manifests from menarche and remains throughout a woman’s fertile cycle.
T should be noted that cases of pre-menarchal girls with this condition have been reported. Also, cases of endometriosis in and after menopause. In this, there are no definitive rules.
The disease is believed to involve genetic, family, and environmental factors. Endometriosis can decrease a woman’s fertility rate since the thickening of uterine tissues prevents sperm from reaching the egg.
In the presence of symptoms that alert you to this condition, it is best to go to your GP or gynecologist. During the consultation, the best treatment will be determined, as the case may be.