Experts use stages to differentiate endometriosis strongly, but the stage is not always consistent with female pain and levels of discomfort.
Endometriosis is a condition in which endometrial tissue that covers the uterus begins to spread outside the uterus and is inserted into areas such as the uterus, ovaries, and other organs in the pelvic region.
When it grows normally inside the uterus, the endometrial tissue sheds throughout the menstrual cycle, creating a period of a month. However, endometrial tissue ruptures when implanted or attached to the external genitalia, and this rupture can cause inflammation, cysts, and red tissue throughout the pelvic region.
Women with endometriosis may experience symptoms such as chronic pelvic pain, pain during sex, painful urination, abdominal problems, irregular or difficult periods, and infertility.
What happens after the diagnosis of endometriosis?
An estimated 10 women have endometriosis, but it can take anywhere from three to 11 years for them to be officially diagnosed with the disease once their symptoms have started.
Because painful symptoms can be caused by a variety of other health conditions, physicians in the past have chosen to make their diagnoses excluded. When they suspect endometriosis, it is confirmed by the appearance of a procedure called laparoscopy, although this reliance on surgical examination changes slightly.
During laparoscopy, the doctor performs a small incision in the abdomen and inserts a light tube into the pelvic region. If they see signs of endometriosis, such as endometrial implanted tissue or red tissue, they can both diagnose the condition and remove such things as cysts and red tissue.
Being able to diagnose endometriosis and scar is what enables doctors to classify the disease into four distinct stages. To determine the stage of endometriosis, doctors assign points to what they see as they perform laparoscopy. A score of 15 or less means that the disease, in appearance, can be Stage 1 (minor) or Stage 2 (low). Scoring 16 to 40 points means that the disease is in Phase 3 (moderate), and 40 or more puts the disease in Phase 4 (severe).
What the stages of endometriosis mean
Based on what the doctor sees during laparoscopy, endometriosis is divided into four distinct stages.
Stage1 (1 to 5 points)
In Stage 1, endometriosis is classified as “minor.” Plants are small, few in number, and shallow, although keep in mind that these stages are not associated with pain and discomfort (more on that later). Because a woman may have Stage 1 endometriosis, this does not mean that her pain is minimal or that the effect on her life is minimal.
Stage 2 (6 to 15 points)
In Stage 2, endometriosis is considered “mild.” Doctors can find more implants, and they are much deeper than the top-level implants found in Stage 1 endometriosis.
Section 3 (16 to 40 points)
Stage 3 is “moderate” endometriosis. Not only are there many deep endometrial tumors, but there may be at least endometrial cyst in at least one uterus. These endometrial cyst form when tissue attaches itself to the uterus and begins to bleed with the tissues. Blood clots and turns brown, which is why these plants are also known as “cyst cysts.”
Doctors can also find small pieces of tissue, called filmy adhesions, that hold the organs together. This adhesion is the scar tissue that forms when the body tries to be treated for a tumor caused by endometriosis. They can cause the organs to stick together when inappropriate and are thought to be the cause of acute, stabbing pain, and nausea, in women with endometriosis.
Section 4 (40 points or more)
Stage 4 is the “severe” stage of endometriosis. In addition to the many deep implants of endometriosis, there are large cysts in at least one uterus and many dense adhesions throughout the pelvic region.
What the categories do not say
The increase in the strength of these stages may give the impression that endometriosis, like cancer, begins in one part of the body before spreading to the most distant organs.
But endometriosis does not develop as cancer, as the disease can spread from the beginning, Hugh Taylor, MD, vice president of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine and chair of obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive science at Yale School of Medicine, tells Health.
“If you want to say whether a person is better or worse after a certain type of treatment or surgery, or if you want to compare one operation with another, you need a system and formula in place to act as a kind of quantitative comparison,” said Drs. Taylor says in stages. “But this is not the same type of graphics system that would have the same predictive value as in the case of cancer.”
For example, the stages of endometriosis are inconsistent with how factors such as childbirth or chronic pain adversely affect a woman. This also means that the sections do not provide guidance on how to treat endometriosis in various patients.
“Patients are curious about how widespread they are,” he said. Taylor. “But a person with mild to moderate endometriosis can have more pain than a person with severe endometriosis.” Similarly, a woman with Stage 1 endometriosis is more likely to be infertile than a woman with Stage 4 endometriosis, she adds.
Because of the difficulty in defining endometriosis in a therapeutic way, some have tried to suggest different ways to differentiate the disease.
The Endometriosis Foundation of America, for example, classifies the disease into four categories depending on where the disease is found and how it affects the patient:
Category 1: Peritoneal endometriosis
Endometriosis is found in the peritoneum, which is the lining of the abdomen. This is a very small category.
Category 2: Ovarian endometriomas
There are endometriomas, or cysts, in the ovaries, which put the risk of rupture and the spread of endometriosis to other nearby organs.
Category 3: Deep penetration of endometriosis 1
Endometriosis is implanted in organs in the pelvic region, such as the ovaries, rectum, and outside the uterus. The patient may experience a “frozen chest,” in which the red tissue binds the limbs together and disrupts their function.
Category 4: Deep penetration of endometriosis 2
Endometriosis is present outside the pelvic region and may also be implanted in distant organs such as the heart, lungs, and brain.
Awareness is key to better treatment of endometriosis
In an effort to reduce the time it takes to diagnose and treat endometriosis, there is an association among physicians to begin diagnosing symptoms at the clinic, without the need for surgery, says Dr. Taylor.
Another old sign of endometriosis is painful periods and then progresses to pain that lasts beyond the menstrual cycle. In some cases, physical examinations may reveal cysts, and in some cases, ultrasound may reveal that organs such as the uterus may be pulled or tilted in a certain direction – a sign that scar tissue has been formed.
“The first thing I always hear from endometriosis patients is that they complain of pain, and their mother, friends, and even their doctors say, ‘Oh, times have to hurt, that’s normal,” says Dr. Taylor. “, where people start to take you seriously. ”
Taking women’s pain seriously could save her years of frustrating diagnoses, says Dr. Taylor. It can also reduce symptoms quickly, which can slow down the growth of red and debilitating tissue.
If a woman is diagnosed with endometriosis, treatment will depend on both her symptoms and her intentions. Birth control pills can control the pain of other mild conditions; if a woman’s primary concern is her fertility, in vitro fertilization may be the best treatment option.
Some drugs that affect hormone levels may work, although some have serious side effects. Lupron, an injectable drug, lowers estrogen levels to such an extent that it can cause young women to enter menopause. Danazol uses male hormones to control endometriosis but can also cause hair growth or acne.