Blog post written in collaboration with our partners UR Vistahermosa

Understanding Endometriosis:

Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment Options

Endometriosis is a chronic medical condition that affects many women. The World Health Organization estimates that roughly 190 million women of reproductive age worldwide suffer from this condition, and yet it remains one of the most underdiagnosed and poorly understood conditions. In this article, we will explore the causes, symptoms, and treatment options for women with endometriosis.

Causes of endometriosis

Endometriosis occurs when tissue similar to the lining of the uterus grows outside the uterus, usually on the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and the tissue lining the pelvis. It is an inflammatory disease dependent on oestrogen, and the tissue will continue to respond to hormones just like it would in the uterus: it thickens, sheds and bleeds every menstrual cycle.

The exact cause of endometriosis is still unknown, but some theories suggest that it may be caused by genetic factors, hormonal imbalances, or a weak immune system.

Symptoms of Endometriosis

The symptoms of endometriosis can vary from person to person, and some women may not experience any symptoms at all.
However, the most common symptoms of endometriosis include:

  • Painful periods
  • Pain during sex
  • Painful bowel movements or urination
  • Infertility
  • Fatigue
  • Diarrhea, constipation, or bloating
  • Heavy periods of bleeding in between periods

Treatment Options for Endometriosis

There is no cure for endometriosis, but symptoms can be relieved through medication or surgery. The treatment options for endometriosis vary depending on the severity of the condition and the woman’s age and health. Some of the most common treatment options include:

  • Pain medication: Over-the-counter pain medications such as ibuprofen or naproxen can help relieve pain and cramping during periods.
  • Hormonal therapy: Hormonal therapy such as birth control pills, progestin-only contraceptives, or gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonists can help regulate the menstrual cycle and reduce the growth of endometrial tissue.
  • Surgery: Laparoscopic surgery is the most common surgical procedure used to diagnose and treat endometriosis.

Endometriosis and Fertility

Around 30% to 50% of women with endometriosis have infertility. For women with mild to moderate endometriosis, conception is possible without medical intervention, and tracking ovulation and timing intercourse can increase the chances to conceive. In cases of moderate to severe endometriosis, medical or surgical interventions may be necessary to improve fertility, such as hormonal medications or surgery to remove cysts and adhesions.

If conception does not occur, reproductive techniques can be a hope for achieving motherhood.

  • Artificial insemination – Young patients with grade I and II endometriosis.
  • In vitro fertilisation (IVF) –  Patients with type III and IV involvement (This is the technique that offers the most possibilities, especially if the fallopian tubes are affected.).
  • Egg donation –  Patients with severe endometriosis (After several failed IVF cycles, when access to the ovaries for ovarian puncture is impossible due to multiple adhesions, or when the ovarian reserve is low).
  • Egg vitrification – As it is a progressive disease, women diagnosed with endometriosis are advised to vitrify their eggs as soon as possible to ensure that the quality of the eggs will not decrease. 

Endometriosis is a challenging medical condition that affects many women worldwide. The symptoms can be painful and disruptive to everyday life. If you experience any of the symptoms associated with endometriosis, it is essential to speak with your healthcare provider to receive a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.

5th April 2023

Understanding Endometriosis

Endometriosis is a chronic medical condition that affects many women. It is estimated that over 176 million women worldwide suffer from this condition, and yet it remains one of the most underdiagnosed and poorly understood conditions. In this article, we will explore the causes, symptoms, and treatment options for women with endometriosis.
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