Bladder endometriosis: what it is, symptoms, tests and treatment
Bladder endometriosis is when endometrial tissue grows outside the uterus, in this specific case, on the walls of the bladder. However, unlike what happens in the uterus, where this tissue is eliminated during menstruation, the endometrium that is in the walls of the bladder has nowhere to go, generating symptoms such as bladder pain, burning when urinating or frequent urge to urinate, especially during menstruation.
The occurrence of endometriosis in the urinary tract is rare, being found in 0.5% to 2% of all cases, but it usually occurs in women of childbearing age.
Endometriosis in the bladder cannot be cured, however treatment with surgery or hormonal medications can help relieve symptoms, especially in women with very severe symptoms of the condition.
Symptoms of bladder endometriosis are:
- Discomfort when urinating;
- Pain in the pelvic area, kidneys or bladder area, which worsens with menstruation;
- Painful sexual intercourse;
- More frequent trips to the bathroom to urinate;
- Presence of pus or blood in the urine, especially during menstruation;
- Excessive tiredness;
- Persistent fever below 38ºC.
The symptoms are not specific and, therefore, end up being confused with menstrual pain.
When there are recurring symptoms, but other causes are not identified, such as infections in the urinary tract, the doctor may suspect endometriosis and, therefore, tests such as videolaparoscopy may be ordered to look for endometrial tissue in the bladder, confirming the diagnosis.
Endometriosis online test
If you think you may have endometriosis, list your symptoms to find out what your chances are:
Check out 7 other symptoms that you may have endometriosis.
Tests to confirm endometriosis
Laparoscopy is the most used test to diagnose endometriosis in the bladder. In this exam, the pelvic organs, including the bladder and ureters, are observed in order to identify foci of endometrial tissue or changes caused by endometriosis.
However, before this exam, the doctor can also try to identify any changes through less invasive exams such as pelvic ultrasound or MRI, for example.
How is the treatment done?
Treatment for bladder endometriosis depends on age, desire to have children, intensity of symptoms and the severity of the lesions. However, the most commonly used behaviors are:
- hormone therapywith pill-like drugs that decrease the production of endometrium in the bladder;
- Surgery for total or partial removal of the bladder, which may or may not be necessary to remove one or both ovaries;
- both treatmentsdepending on the severity of the disease.
The consequences of endometriosis in the bladder when not treated correctly, are the occurrence of more serious urinary problems in the future, such as obstruction or urinary incontinence.
Can Endometriosis in the Bladder Cause Infertility?
Usually, endometriosis in the bladder does not affect a woman’s fertility, however, as there is an increased risk of also having endometriosis in the ovaries, some women may have a greater difficulty getting pregnant, but it is only related to the change in the ovaries. Learn more about this type of endometriosis.
Watch the video with Dr. Helizabet Ribeiro, a gynecologist specializing in endometriosis who clarifies all doubts about this disease:
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