By Teresa Rubio Asensio BSc, MSc (embryologist).
Last Update: 01/20/2015

Endometriosis is a benign illness that has an incidence of 5%-10% among women in fertile age. In women suffering from it, endometrial tissue, which covers the uterus, can be found outside the uterine cavity in other parts of the body. The main symptoms are pain in the abdomen, pelvis and lower back during menstruation, pain during and after sexual intercourse and sterility problems.

Nowadays we can hear more about this illness, since, due to the medical advances, more cases are being diagnosed, although the diagnosis is still difficult to carry out and in most of the cases is performed too late. A delay of nine years and visiting at least five different doctors before being diagnosed it’s the estimation.

Pain with endometriosis

The experts in Gynaecology and Obstetrics point out the fact that these patients turn to different centres, since sometimes pain is not considered important and the connection between it and the illness is not made. Sometimes these patients may even have trouble when it comes to getting medical leaves.

It’s vital to raise awareness among the family doctors and company doctors, since they are the first ones to examine these patients, so that they can try to diagnose this illness and relate it to its symptoms, and so that they can comprehend that this pathology may prevent women from carrying a normal life.

The treatments for this illness are hormones or surgery, mainly laparoscopy. For the deep pelvic endometriosis, which has an incidence of 10% of the cases of endometriosis, surgery may be the final solution, although it comes with lots of difficulties attached, even more than a cancer intervention, and must be performed in the presence of an urologist and a general surgeon.

The best would be to find equilibrium between the benefits and consequences that these patients will experiment with surgery, since it may not be recommended if other organs, such as the bladder, ureter or rectus, are altered.

Currently, in several universities and research centres there are numerous ongoing studies, in which the effect of the drugs used in oncology on endometriosis is being studied. This medicines would be use to reduce vascularisation. The problem of this research is to prove in these patients those anti-angiogenesis drugs, since one of the things that they may alter is fertility.

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Authors and contributors

 Teresa Rubio Asensio
BSc, MSc
Master's Degree in Medicine and Reproductive Genetics from the Miguel Hernández University of Elche (UHM). Teacher of different Clinical Embryology courses at the UHM. Member and writer of scientific contents at ASEBIR and ASPROIN. Embryologist specializing in Assisted Procreation at UR Virgen de la Vega. More information
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