Endometriosis in Malaysia: Understanding Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment Options
Posted on: May 18, 2023
Endometriosis is a common condition that affects women in Malaysia and around the world. It occurs when the tissue that lines the uterus (endometrium) grows outside of it. This tissue can attach itself to other organs in the pelvic area, such as the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and bladder.
The tissue acts just like the lining of the uterus, thickening and breaking down each month in response to hormonal changes. However, because the tissue is located outside of the uterus, it has no way to exit the body, causing inflammation, scarring, and pain.
Why Is It Important to Understand Endometriosis for Women in Malaysia?
Nearly one in seven women of the reproductive age group mainly between 30 and 45 years old are affected by endometriosis. Despite being so common, many women are not familiar with the symptoms and causes of endometriosis, which can lead to delayed diagnosis and treatment. Understanding endometriosis is crucial for women, as it can have a significant impact on their quality of life.
The condition can cause chronic pain, fatigue, and other symptoms that can make it difficult to carry out daily activities. It can also affect a woman's mental health, leading to anxiety, depression, and other mood disorders. If endometriosis is not diagnosed and treated, it may lead to complications such as adhesions, ovarian cysts, and infertility in some cases.
What Are The Symptoms and Causes of Endometriosis?
The symptoms of endometriosis can vary from person to person, but some common signs include chronic pelvic pain, painful periods, pain during intercourse, and infertility. The exact cause of endometriosis is still unknown, but it is believed to be linked to genetic factors and hormonal imbalances.
How to Detect Endometriosis with Diagnostic Tests in Malaysia?
There are several diagnostic tests available for endometriosis, including pelvic exams, ultrasounds, and laparoscopies. A pelvic exam is a physical exam that allows the doctor to feel for any abnormalities in the pelvic area. An ultrasound uses high-frequency sound waves to create images of the pelvic area, while a laparoscopy is a surgical procedure that allows the doctor to examine the pelvic organs directly.
Your healthcare provider or specialist can help determine which test is right for you based on your symptoms and medical history. Early diagnosis is key to managing endometriosis and preventing complications.
What Are The Four Stages of Endometriosis?
Endometriosis is classified into four different stages based on the severity of the condition and the level of pain. These stages are:
Stage I: Minimal Endometriosis
In this stage of endometriosis, there are only a few small patches of endometrial tissue outside the uterus. These patches are usually found on the pelvic lining or ovaries. In some cases, there may not be any noticeable symptoms of endometriosis in this stage. However, if symptoms are present, they may include mild pelvic pain or discomfort during periods.
Stage II: Mild Endometriosis
In endometriosis stage 2, there are more patches of tissue present, and they may be slightly deeper. These patches may also be present on the fallopian tubes and the ligaments that support the uterus. In addition to mild pelvic pain, individuals with mild endometriosis may also experience painful periods, pain during intercourse, and difficulty getting pregnant in some cases.
Stage III: Moderate Endometriosis
For endometriosis stage 3, there are many patches of tissue present, and there may be scar tissue and adhesions. In addition to the symptoms experienced in the previous stages, individuals with moderate endometriosis may also experience chronic pelvic pain and digestive issues.
Stage IV: Severe Endometriosis
In stage 4 of endometriosis, there are many deep patches of tissue, and there may be large cysts and significant scarring. Individuals with severe endometriosis may experience intense pain, especially during periods and intercourse. They may also experience bowel and bladder problems, including painful bowel movements and frequent urination.
Is There Any Treatment Available to Cure Endometriosis in Malaysia?
There is currently no cure to heal endometriosis as of today. However, there are several treatment options available that aim to ease symptoms and pain so the condition does not interfere with daily life. These treatment options include pain management strategies, hormonal therapy, and surgery.
Pain Management & Care: How to Find Relief & Heal Severe Endometriosis Pain?
Pain management is an essential part of treating endometriosis. Some pain management strategies include taking pain medication, using heat therapy, practicing relaxation techniques, and making lifestyle changes such as exercising regularly and getting enough sleep.
Over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen and naproxen can help to relieve mild to moderate pain. Prescription medications such as opioids may be necessary for more severe pain.
Applying heat to the pelvic area can help to relieve pain and discomfort. This can be done through the use of a heating pad or warm compress.
Practicing relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, and yoga can help to reduce stress and alleviate pain.
Making lifestyle changes such as exercising regularly, getting enough sleep, and eating a healthy diet can help to improve overall health and reduce pain.
Hormonal therapy, such as birth control pills or progestin-only contraceptives, can help to regulate the menstrual cycle and reduce the growth of endometrial tissue, which can reduce pain.
In more severe cases of endometriosis, surgery may be necessary to remove the tissue and alleviate pain.
Endometriosis, Cyst & Pregnancy: What Are The Risks, Success and Association with Infertility?
One of the main concerns with endometriosis and pregnancy is the increased risk of miscarriage. However, many women with endometriosis are still able to successfully conceive and carry a pregnancy to term.
Endometriosis can also lead to the development of cysts, which may impact fertility and pregnancy. However, this situation is different for each individual and it is necessary to seek further consultation with a medical specialist.
Talk to Your Specialist About Endometriosis Concerns & Prevention
While there is no exact way to prevent endometriosis, awareness of symptoms and prompt medical attention can help minimize its impact. It is important to talk to a specialist about any concerns related to endometriosis, including the available diagnostic tests and treatment options. Additionally, women should be proactive in taking care of their overall health and seeking prompt medical attention if they experience any symptoms of endometriosis.