Table of Contents
Endometriosis is a benign, chronic and sometimes progressive disease. It is characterized by the presence of abnormal endometrial tissue located outside the uterine cavity, causing inflammation, adhesions, and fibrosis. Although the risk of it being a malignant condition is low, it is related to fertility problems.
In order for you to know more about endometriosis, today we will give you a complete guide where you will find the answers to the most frequently asked questions about this disease. Let’s get started!
It is estimated that endometriosis is a disease that affects between 75 and 10% of reproductive age women. The endometrium has the capacity to grow, infiltrate and spread in a similar way to tumor tissues, so in endometriosis this tissue is located outside its original place in the uterus and settles in the abdomen, ovaries, ligaments, sacrum, septum recto-vaginal and, in severe cases, it reaches other places such as the digestive tract, urinary tract, liver, pancreas, navel or lungs.
The endometriosis symptomatology is very variable since, in some cases, women do not have any discomfort, and the diagnosis is made when doing an examination for other reasons, such as infertility.
The most common discomforts are:
Although endometriosis is considered one of the most diagnosed diseases in gynecology, and the third cause of gynecological surgeries in the United States, its causes are not fully known. Theories about the etiology of the disease are: ·
Dysmenorrhea (painful menstruation) is associated with endometriosis, although it is usually interpreted as a symptom, while proimenorrhea (abnormal menstrual bleeding, with shorter periods) is a risk factor as menses are more frequent and in greater volume, which entails risk of menstrual reflux.
High BMI, smoking and obesity, which are usually factors associated with other gynecological conditions, are not related to endometriosis. However, it has been detected that this disease is frequent in patients who underwent surgery for the ovarian cancer treatment.
Endometriosis requires treatment not only because it is associated with pain and infertility, but because it is a progressive disease, worsening in 30% to 60% of patients during the year after diagnosis, and in more than 90% of patients two years after diagnosis. The most common treatments are:
It usually consists of the hormonal cycle alteration by means of oral contraceptives or by generating a state of pseudo menopause with gonadotropin antagonist drugs (GnRH), or a state of chronic anovulation by means of progestogens. This treatment´s goal is to control the menstrual cycle and the bleeding flow.
Surgical removal of endometrial tissue by laparoscopy usually achieves a temporary remission, and is only advised to remove tissue that is causing problems in organs beyond the uterus. Since endometriosis is a chronic disease, the recurrence risk is 5% to 20% in one year, with a cumulative rate of 40% in five years.
It consists of drugs for the relief of pain associated with symptoms, the elimination of endometriotic lesions and the recurrence prevention.
The diagnosis must be made taking into account several factors:
Unfortunately, there are no clear measures to prevent this disease, but there are some in order to prevent its recurrence.
At The Fertility Center we have specialists in endometriosis diagnosis and treatment. Contact us today to schedule your assessment appointment. We will gladly assist you!
Gynecology, Obstetrics and Biology of Human Reproduction Surgeon at the Autonomous University of Guadalajara, specialist Biologist of Human Reproduction by the Mexican Institute of Infertility.
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