Most women find it difficult to achieve the perfect body they crave; however, this is more so because they become disheartened when their weight does not change as quickly as they would like it to. Often, this stems from a medical condition known as empty sella syndrome (ESS). If you, too, are frustrated with your weight loss journey and feel like it’s not going fast enough, then this article is for you.
What Is Empty Sella Syndrome?
Put yourself in your patient’s shoes for a moment. Imagine that you are a doctor and you have just diagnosed her with empty sella syndrome. What would you say to her? How would you explain this condition to her?
To put it simply, empty sella syndrome is when a woman’s womb (or the cavities inside it, more specifically the endometrial cavity) do not contain any eggs or embryos. The endometrium cannot properly develop into an embryo or a baby; therefore, there is no possibility of conception.
The condition usually presents with secondary infertility, but it can also exist without any apparent cause. In some cases, it may be due to anatomical problems and can only be fixed surgicaly. Otherwise, in most cases, it is caused by some sort of physiological problem and is, therefore, not curable.
Because of its genetic make-up, the condition is usually inherited and, therefore, affects family members. If you (or your partner) are also a carrier of the gene, then there is a 25% chance that you will pass it on to your offspring. This makes it critical that you find out what is causing the condition so that you can deal with it effectively before deciding to start a family.
How Does It Affect Women?
Women are generally more susceptible to empty sella syndrome than men, though it can occur in both genders. During pregnancy, the hormone progesterone encourages the growth of the uterine lining. Once the baby is delivered, the levels of progesterone decrease, which in turn, leads to menstruation and, therefore, ovulation. If the condition is not diagnosed and treated properly, it can cause a number of reproductive problems, including amenorrhea (the absence of periods), infertility, and miscarriage. In rare cases, it can even lead to death.
Because of the above, if a woman is diagnosed with empty sella syndrome, she will be prescribed hormonal therapy to promote ovulation. In some cases, she may also be given fertility treatments, such as IVF, to help her conceive. In the end, however, if her condition is not treated properly, she may never be able to have children of her own.
If You, or Your Partner, Are Also Genetically Carriers
If you are also a carrier of the gene, then you have a 25% chance of passing it on to your offspring. In most cases, this will not present any serious problems provided that you both adhere to a healthy lifestyle and educate yourselves about the condition. In fact, if you find out that you are a carrier of the gene and decide to have children anyway, there is a 50% chance that at least one of your offspring will also be a carrier. As a result, half of their chromosomes (the ones that contain the gene) will be compromised, leading to possible problems. If you want to protect them from inheriting the condition, you will have to find an alternative way to have children (e.g., adoptions).
How Is It Diagnosed?
In most cases, empty sella syndrome is diagnosed by performing a pelvic exam and measuring the level of serum follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) in the blood. Sometimes, a transvaginal ultrasound is also used to evaluate the condition. If the FSH level is high and the woman does not have a visible ovary, then she will be diagnosed with empty sella syndrome. In some cases, it can also be caused by other, more serious, medical conditions. If this is the case, then a blood test will be performed to rule out any secondary causes.
Diagnosing empty sella syndrome is particularly important because, if left untreated, it can lead to a number of serious health problems, including infertility. If you suspect that you may be a carrier of the gene, then you must consult with a genetic counselor or doctor to find out what your chances are. If you decide that you want to have children, then you will need to find an alternative way to have them (e.g., adoption).
What Are The Symptoms?
Women with empty sella syndrome will generally present with a number of symptoms, which often include irregular periods or the absence of periods, infertility, and/or pain during intercourse or ovulation. While some women may only have a few of these symptoms, others may have most of them – it really depends on how severe the condition is.
The most typical symptom of empty sella syndrome is menstrual irregularity or the absence of periods. Other possible symptoms include infertility (e.g., menopause before age 40), amenorrhea (the absence of periods, which can lead to anemia), and excessive hair growth on the face or body. Sometimes, patients will also report abdominal discomfort or pain, especially in the lower back or between the ribs. If the hormone levels are high, then they may also report headache, dizziness, nausea, or loss of appetite. Finally, if the condition is caused by an anatomical problem, then there may also be associated pelvic pain or a decreased urinary stream. This is usually caused by endometriosis or adhesions (which is when tiny, fibrous strands join together, causing the pelvis to become narrow and rigid).
As you can imagine, if you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, then it is highly likely that you have empty sella syndrome. In most cases, however, it is difficult to diagnose because most women do not present with all of the above symptoms. Often, it is a case of noticing a pattern of behavior or being observant.
In addition to the symptoms listed above, if you are experiencing any other problems, such as heavy or painful periods, then this could be a sign of a more serious condition. If you suspect that you are experiencing any sort of complication, then you should seek medical help immediately.
How Do I Prevent The Syndrome?
The best way to prevent empty sella syndrome is to have children in the first place. If you want to have children, then there are ways to do it naturally and safely. For example, you can use reproductive technologies (e.g., IVF) to create embryos, which your body will then grow into babies. In addition to this, you can take advantage of the fact that the syndrome is usually genetic by avoiding certain foods and beverages that are high in sugar, or else you may increase your risk of developing diabetes (which is known to be caused by a defective gene). There are also certain medications that can help prevent miscarriages and premature births, which are further complications that can arise from the syndrome.
If you have already had children and you are concerned about whether or not they will pass on the syndrome to their offspring, then there is a way to prevent this. If you are breastfeeding, then you will need to wean them gradually so that your body can get back to its pre-pregnancy state. After you have weaned your baby, then you can go back to breastfeeding them occasionally (e.g., when they are sleepy), but make sure that you do not do this for too long or else you will again put your body into reproductive mode and conception may occur (which it will then be even more difficult to prevent). Finally, when they start school, make sure that they get plenty of sleep to improve their mental health, which will, in turn, improve their quality of life and prevent them from developing the syndrome in the first place.
If you are interested in preventing or treating the syndrome, then you should consult with a doctor or a genetic counselor. They may be able to give you personalized advice and help you understand what you should and should not do to improve your situation. In most cases, though, the syndrome is either genetic or idiopathic (meaning that it is caused by factors that the individual is not aware of) and, therefore, there is no specific treatment. Though it is very rare, in some cases, it can be treated successfully with hysterectomy Surgery. In most cases, it is, however, incurable.