Endometriosis may cause complications during pregnancy The disease has symptoms which can be confused with other conditions New Delhi, 22 September 2017: Endometriosis in pregnant women can cause many complications during pregnancy and delivery, including preterm birth and cesarean section. The findings come from a recently conducted study, which also indicates that such women should be closely monitored during the course of their pregnancy for any complications. Endometriosis can cause problems such as inflammation of the endometrium and inhibit the action of progesterone during implantation and throughout the pregnancy, as per the IMA. Endometriosis is a painful condition in which the tissue lining the inside of the uterus, grows outside it. It is estimated to affect about 10% to 15% of the women in the reproductive age. The condition mostly involves the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and the tissue lining the pelvis; but can spread beyond the pelvic organs as well. Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee Dr K K Aggarwal, National President Indian Medical Association (IMA) and President Heart Care Foundation of India (HCFI) and Dr RN Tandon – Honorary Secretary General IMA in a joint statement, said, “Although there has been much progress on various issues related to women’s health, endometriosis is a condition marred by lack of awareness in the country. In this condition, displaced endometrial tissue has no way to exit the body and becomes trapped. When endometriosis involves the ovaries, it can cause formation of cysts. This can lead to an irritation in the surrounding tissue and eventually scar tissue and adhesions. Endometriosis can be mistaken for other conditions that can cause pelvic pain. Some of these include pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) or ovarian cysts and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). However, in some cases endometriosis may be accompanied by IBS, which can complicate the diagnosis.” While the primary symptom of this condition is increased pelvic pain associated with menstruation, the other symptoms include pain during intercourse and bowel movement, excessive bleeding, fatigue, diarrhea, constipation, and bloating or nausea, especially during menstrual period. Adding further, Dr Aggarwal, said, “Healthy diet and physical activity improve immunity which in turn can help reduce inflammation to some extent. It is imperative to look for heart disease in women with endometriosis. Women with endometriosis are known to have systemic, chronic inflammation, an atherogenic lipid profile, heightened oxidative stress and several overlapping risk factors for cardiovascular disease.” The upcoming Perfect Health Mela being organized by HCFI, to be held from 4th to 8th October 2017 at the Talkatora Stadium in New Delhi will provide a platform to discuss many of these health issues. IMA is the knowledge partner for the event. It is a must visit for those interested in learning more about preventive health and well-being. The Mela will also have free health camps for checking various health parameters. Here are some tips to prevent the risk of endometriosis in women. • Hormonal birth control methods such as pills, patches or rings with lower doses of estrogen can help in preventing this condition. • It is good to indulge in regular exercise regularly. This will help in reducing body fat and decrease the amount of estrogen circulating through the body. • Avoid over consumption of alcohol as it can cause an increase in estrogen levels. Women should limit alcohol intake to one drink per day. • Avoid large amount of drinks with caffeine as more than one caffeinated drink a day, especially sodas and green tea, can raise estrogen levels.