23 Mar Endometriosis through the eyes of our professionals
Do you know what endometriosis is? It is a disease that occurs when endometrial tissue, i.e. the tissue that covers the uterus, grows outside the uterus, specifically in the pelvic organs, such as the fallopian tubes or ovaries. This can take the form of small plaques, nodules and ovarian cysts or endometriomas.
It is estimated that one in ten women suffers from this disease. More than 170 million women worldwide have been diagnosed with the disease. In addition, a large number of cases are defined in infertility consultations. Therefore, in our assisted reproduction clinic we will be able to treat this disease to help you with your great goal: to become mothers.
Endometriosis tissue located outside the uterus reacts to hormones in the same way as the endometrial tissue lining the uterus does, thickening with each menstrual cycle, bleeding and shedding. Unlike the endometrium, this tissue is not released from the body and is retained, causing inflammation and pain. Sometimes it also creates scar tissue that can bind the different organs of the pelvis together.
“It is a very, very different disease for each person. Therefore, each patient must be assessed individually and followed up with a specialised gynaecologist to individualise each case, as each one will require a different treatment or help, if needed”.
– Dr. Sara Ventosa, gynaecologist specialising in assisted reproduction.
But which are the symptoms that occur in most women suffering from that disease? Some women experience no symptoms at all, or they appear after a period of time. However, there are others who do have symptoms, some more severe, some milder.
Main symptoms are:
- Dysmenorrhoea: alterations in menstruation, such as heavy periods.
- Severe pain during menstruation that increases over time. The most general symptom of endometriosis is pelvic pain. However, more severe pain is not synonymous with more severe endometriosis.
- Dyspareunia: pain during sexual intercourse.
- Abdominal pain and cramps.
- Pain with defecation or urination during the menstrual period.
- Between 35-50% of women develop infertility problems.
- Some women may also experience fatigue, nausea, constipation or, conversely, diarrhoea.
There are different factors that can cause infertility. The alteration of the morphology of the ovaries, inflammation, the appearance of pelvic adhesions (impeding the movement of the tubes) or the obstruction of pelvic organs, such as the ovary and the tubes (altering their normal function and impeding fertilisation) are some of these causes.
The treatment of endometriosis will depend on the overall assessment of each woman’s condition. In the first place, resection of the lesions caused by endometriosis is recommended. If, after surgery, fertility is not restored, assisted reproduction treatments are a great ally in achieving pregnancy.
It is therefore important to choose the different techniques that we carry out in our fertility clinic according to every individual women´s case, above all, according to her symptoms, the evolution of the disease, her ovarian reserve or her fertile age. Thus, depending on the degree of affectation, we will choose for ovulation induction, intrauterine insemination or in vitro fertilisation treatment.
Endometriosis conditions a woman’s search for pregnancy, depending on the degree of endometriosis and the location of the endometriosis in different ways. Severe endometriosis that requires continuous treatment with hormone therapy means that it is not possible to stop treatment for a long period of time in order to search for a pregnancy, therefore, with assisted reproduction treatment we can minimise this search time and the suspension of treatment
– Dr Sara Ventosa
On the other hand, there are endometriosis that affect implantation rates, as there are cases that affect the entire uterus, impairing implantation. However, it can also affect the ovaries and, therefore, the ovarian reserve, reducing the quality of the eggs and their chances of being fertilised.
And it is in these situations when we come into play, offering a host of advantages through our assisted reproduction treatments, and thus being able to help in different ways:
- Shortening the time to achieve pregnancy
- By increasing, through stimulation, the number of oocytes and thus the chances of becoming pregnant.
- By shortening the path and barriers that the egg and sperm have to overcome in order for fertilization to take place. In this sense, through in vitro fertilization, the fertilization process is carried out in the laboratory and we introduce the embryos through a cannula directly into the uterus so that they can be implanted.
Do you suffer from any of the symptoms described above? Do you think you may suffer from endometriosis? Have you been trying to get pregnant for a long time and are unable to do so? At Reproclinic we can help you! We will analyse deeply your case and we will inform you about which treatment option is the most appropriate for your specific case. Put yourselves in the best hands! Request your first visit through our contact form.