Causes of Endometriosis During Menopause
Endometriosis often goes away during menopause but sometimes it lingers and becomes serious. Each case develops in its own unique way, so a woman afflicted by this condition requires personalized medical attention to deal with it.
Endometriosis is the presence of endometrial tissue outside the cavity of the uterus, which is where it’s usually found. It’s a chronic painful disease that can last a lifetime. Today’s article will describe the symptoms and possible treatments.
The endometrial tissue, or endometrium, usually thickens and bleeds with every menstrual cycle. However, some tissues behave as if they were endometrial when a woman has endometriosis. Unfortunately, they have no way out of the body.
What happens in these cases is that the tissue becomes trapped. As a result, it eventually irritates, forms fibrous tissue, and the tissues and organs in the pelvic area stick together as a consequence. In turn, it increases inflammation and pain.
This disease specifically affects the ovaries, pelvic tissue, and fallopian tubes. In some cases, it can also impact the ligaments and the peritoneal surface, as well as the intestines and the bladder.
Often, the symptoms of this disease disappear during menopause. This is because the hormonal stimuli of the menstrual cycle are no longer present and, therefore, the ectopic endometrial tissue either decreases or disappears entirely. However, symptoms may return if a woman takes hormone replacements.
Endometriosis and menopause
Women’s bodies stop producing estrogens (the hormones related to the development of endometriosis) around the age of 50. This hormonal change decreases the symptoms of this condition.
However, there are many instances in which this condition doesn’t go away with the arrival of menopause. Thus, a woman may continue to experience minor blood loss that forms fibroids in the ovary, Fallopian tubes, and so on.
Furthermore, endometriosis during menopause is more complicated. Medication doesn’t work in these cases and the symptoms are more severe. For this reason, women in this situation may opt for surgical intervention.
You may be interested in Risks and Symptoms of Endometriosis, a Silent Disease
One can treat endometriosis with hormones or surgery. It all depends on the specific location of the tissues. Pharmacological treatment is the most advisable, in most cases that seek to reduce pain.
This disease requires special care during menopause. Note that hormone replacement therapy could cause more pain in the pelvic area, and even bleeding.
Thus, you must take into account the pros and cons of these therapeutic options at the time of your gynecological consultation. In the case of extensive endometriosis, surgical treatment is advisable. The most commonly used procedures are:
- Laparoscopies seek to remove scars or burn damaged tissue, without removing the healthy parts
- Laparotomy is a major surgical procedure to remove the entire endometrium
- In the most serious cases, a surgeon must do a hysterectomy and remove the uterus — this is rare though
Helpful information about endometriosis during menopause
Endometriosis is a benign disease that doesn’t lead to cancer in the vast majority of cases. Often, it manifests itself after menstruation begins and lasts throughout a woman’s fertile cycle.
Note that there have been reports of premenarchal girls with this condition and also cases of endometriosis during menopause and after it. As you can see, there are no definitive rules for this ailment.
Some people believe the disease could involve genetic, family, and environmental factors. Endometriosis can decrease a woman’s fertility rate since the thickening of the uterine tissues prevents the arrival of sperm to the ovum.
Consult your Ob/GYN if you have any symptoms that may warn you of this condition. They alone can determine the best treatment for your individual needs.
Thanks for reading.
All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.
- Parasar P, Ozcan P, Terry KL. Endometriosis: Epidemiology, Diagnosis and Clinical Management. Curr Obstet Gynecol Rep. 2017;6(1):34-41. doi:10.1007/s13669-017-0187-1
- Shah D. Postmenopausal endometriosis: An enigma revisited. J Midlife Health. 2014;5(4):163-164. doi:10.4103/0976-7800.145189
- Patóloga, A. A. L. N. M., de Anatomía, E. E. C., & Di Loreto, F. P. D. V. (2010). MENOPAUSIA: generalidades, fisiopatología de las alteraciones endometriales, cardíacas y óseas. ENDOMETRIO DISFUNCIONAL: tipos, características anatomopatológicas.
- Gemmell LC, Webster KE, Kirtley S, Vincent K, Zondervan KT, Becker CM. The management of menopause in women with a history of endometriosis: a systematic review. Hum Reprod Update. 2017;23(4):481-500. doi:10.1093/humupd/dmx011
- Secosan C, Balulescu L, Brasoveanu S, et al. Endometriosis in Menopause-Renewed Attention on a Controversial Disease. Diagnostics (Basel). 2020;10(3):134. Published 2020 Feb 29. doi:10.3390/diagnostics10030134
- Rafique S, Decherney AH. Medical Management of Endometriosis. Clin Obstet Gynecol. 2017;60(3):485-496. doi:10.1097/GRF.0000000000000292
- Morotti M, Remorgida V, Venturini PL, Ferrero S. Endometriosis in menopause: a single institution experience. Arch Gynecol Obstet. 2012;286(6):1571-1575. doi:10.1007/s00404-012-2473-5
- L.C. Gemmell, K.E. Webster, S. Kirtley, K. Vincent, K.T. Zondervan, C.M. Becker, The management of menopause in women with a history of endometriosis: a systematic review, Human Reproduction Update, Volume 23, Issue 4, July-August 2017, Pages 481–500, https://doi.org/10.1093/humupd/dmx011