25% of our patients suffer from infertility due to Endometriosis
The main symptom a woman can suffer from endometriosis can be confused with menstrual aches, which increases the difficulty of its diagnosis. It focuses on severe pain in the lower abdomen under different circumstances
Today (14/03/2017) is the World Endometriosis Day, a chronic disease that affects the endometrial tissue of the female reproductive tract, causing alterations of the reproductive function and, consequently, impairing the fertility. This is the cause of infertility in 25% of our patients.
The main symptom a woman can suffer from endometriosis can be confused with menstrual aches, which increases the difficulty of its diagnosis. It focuses on severe pain in the lower abdomen under different circumstances: before or during menstruation (as well as in intermenstrual periods), during or after intercourse or when urinating. In a gynaecological examination, a doctor may also perceive the possibility of the patient suffering from endometriosis by identifying abnormalities in the ovaries. All these symptoms can be caused by other pathologies, but in case of suffering them, it is advisable to visit the gynaecologist.
Endometriosis occurs when cells from a tissue called endometrium, which lines the uterine cavity, grows out of it, developing into other organs. This tissue can rupture and cause bleeding, most commonly affecting the ovaries, fallopian tubes and intestines.
Unfortunately, endometriosis cannot be prevented, but it can be treated in different ways. The most appropriate treatment depends on each case, according to the symptoms suffered by the woman and whether she is willing to become pregnant in the future or not. The first options for treatment are painkillers or, in cases where women do not intend to be mothers in the future, contraceptives and hormones that interrupt the menstrual period. Although in the latter case, most doctors recommend not to undergo this treatment for more than a year, as a longer use could have side effects.
In cases where chronic pelvic pain does not improve with these treatments, when the endometriosis patches are very large or when there are endometriosis implants in the rectovaginal septum, surgery should be used. In the event of having to opt for this option, it is necessary to remember that, even in expert hands, the surgery decreases the ovaria reserve and this is the reason why we recommend, in women with gestational desires, to value the possibility of egg vitrification before proceeding to surgery.
There are several factors that may increase the chances of endometriosis such as having a low Body Mass Index, having no children, having had the first menstruation at an early age or menopause at a later age, having short menstrual cycles or also Mullerian anomalies. In addition there is also a direct association with an environmental pollutant called dioxin found in some industrialized countries.
There is a long way to go to understand endometriosis, a relatively frequent and yet not well-known disease, and thus, be able to improve its treatment and prognosis, which would be the goal of it all. Throughout this month of March, different associations organize activities in many cities so that the population becomes aware of this disease.