Endometriosis is a condition affecting females of childbearing age. Cells of the uterine lining, called the endometrium, may grow in places other than the uterus causing pain, bleeding, and infertility. The endometrium grows and sloughs off each month. In women suffering from endometriosis, retrograde menstruation (a backward rather than outwards menstrual flow) may be the reason endometrial cells end up in pelvic locations such as the ovaries, bowel, rectum, bladder, pelvic lining, or other location. The hormones associated with normal monthly cycles cause endometrial cells to grow regardless of whether they are in the uterus. The same hormones also trigger a breakdown in the cells- only in the case of endometriosis, the cells have nowhere to go. Another possible cause of endometriosis can be stem cells differentiating into the wrong type of cells in an inappropriate location. Symptoms of endometriosis are:
- Sometimes none
- Pain in the lower back or pelvis- can be associated with the period, post-intercourse, with bowel movements, urination
- Bleeding between periods or unusually heavy periods at times
Risk factors that increase one’s chance of developing endometriosis are:
- If one or more females in your family have endometriosis, then the chances of developing it are increased.
- Never bearing children
- Menarche at an early age
- More frequent or longer periods than normal (7+ days)
- Conditions causing a blockage to the menstrual flow
Complications of endometriosis are:
- Chronic pain
- Can be precancerous
- Large cyst growth can result in blockages, impairment of function to other tissues, or rupture
- Scar tissue from continuous irritation due to misplaced cells
Endometriosis may be confused with pelvic inflammatory disease, irritable bowel syndrome, uterine fibroids. If you or a loved one suffered a worsening of condition due to a misdiagnosis of endometriosis, you may be eligible for monetary damages. Call the Sweeney Law firm and let us review the facts to see if you have a medical malpractice case. If we take your case, we work on a contingency fee basis- meaning there is no fee for representation unless a settlement or recovery of funds is made on your behalf.