What is Intestinal/Bowel Endometriosis?
Endometriosis is a progressive, painful condition in which tissues such as those that line your uterus (endometrium) grow outside of your uterus.
When this condition affects your intestines, it occurs in two ways:
- More (on the face of your stomach)
- Depth (through your intestinal wall)
Causes of Bowel Endometriosis
In this condition, doctors often find a small lesion (lesion) in your intestinal wall. Generally, lesions can work within the muscle layer. These sores grow slowly. They can grow big, but they also rarely shrink.
Scientists are still studying the causes of these lesions, but research shows links:
- Your genes and stem cells
- Estrogen levels (female sex hormone)
Bowel Symptoms of Endometriosis
Symptoms of bowel endometriosis depend on where the lesion is found, its size, and how deep it is on your intestinal wall. While some women with this condition may not experience symptoms, you may be:
- Traction or discharge, watery stools (constipation or diarrhea)
- Pain during bowel movement
- Menstrual discomfort
- Painful sex
- Pregnancy problem (infertility)
- Blocked intestines (this is a rare symptom)
Your symptoms may feel similar to irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), but this is a different situation. With intestinal endometriosis, you may notice that your symptoms get worse before and during your period.
Diagnosis of Bowel Endometriosis
Endometriosis affects 10% -12% of women of childbearing age. Doctors often diagnose it in women in their 30s.
Your doctor will start by asking about your symptoms and medical history. Then they will check your pelvic area. They can also suggest imaging tests to find out more about the location and size of any cysts or tissue injuries associated with endometriosis. These tests include:
- Ultransvaginal or transrectal ultrasound. Your doctor or therapist will insert a wand-like object into your vagina or anus, emitting sound waves that form images of your organs. These tests cannot diagnose endometriosis, but they can detect the most common causes of ulcers when they are large enough.
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). This experiment enables detailed images of your organs and tissues using magnetic energy and radio waves.
- Laparoscopy. The surgeon will cut a small incision near your abdomen and insert a small viewing device called a laparoscope. It is the same method sometimes used to remove any sores.
- Barium enema. Doctors use this type of X-ray to see changes or deformities in your large intestine (colon). They will inject a mixture of liquid and barium into your rectum using a small tube. Ventilation in your gut improves the organ and improves the image quality.